Laboratory scientists threaten nationwide strike

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The Ghana Association of Medical and Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) has threatened a nationwide strike over the posting of two medical doctors to the laboratory Unit of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).

The Association said its members would embark on the industrial action on Wednesday, May 26, should the Ministry of Health fail to address their concerns.

This is on the back of the declaration of a similar action by the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital’s wing of the Association, on Thursday, May 20, to demand the removal of the two medical doctors posted to the Unit.

The Association at the KATH said the strike was as a result of two years of unproductive discussions with the management of the Hospital and the MOH on their demand to allow only laboratory scientists to work at the Unit.

Mr Abu Abudu Rahaman, President of the GAMLS, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA), in an interview, Monday, that only members of the Association qualified to head all laboratories across the country as per their working policy.

He said a similar situation occurred at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in 2018 when the MOH and the management of the Hospital appointed medical doctors to head the laboratory Unit, which was opposed.

“The KATH chapter is a branch of the national Association and as a national body, we can’t leave them to fight alone, we need to support them because this in a national issue – the same issue happened in Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, which has not been fully resolved,” he said.

Mr Rahaman said the Association was, however, dialoguing with its members to keep calm while it continued negotiations with the Ministry of Health.

“We are controlling the issues and we do not want it to escalate,” he said.

On Monday morning, the leadership of the Greater Accra wing of the GAMLS asked members to display red bands at the entrance of their labs and wear red dress or arm bands in solidarity with their colleagues at the KATH.

Meanwhile, members of GAMLS at the KATH are continuing with their sit-down strike, which started on Thursday, May 20, to demand the removal of the medical officers appointed to the Unit.

They said the appointment of the two medical officers to the Unit was an intrusion into the profession of medical laboratory technicians, which was regulated by an act.

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