Medical Laboratory Scientists at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Ghana’s second-largest health referral facility, who are currently on strike, says they are ready to work if the authorities resolve to meet their demands.
The laboratory scientists had since Thursday, May 20, been on a sit-down strike to register their protest against what they described as wrongful postings of two Medical Officers to the Laboratory Services Directorate (LSD) as “Clinical” Haematologists.
According to them, the presence of the Medical Officers was a clear case of an imposition, to which effect they had written various protest letters to the KATH Management, Ministry of Health and related authorities, expressing their displeasure.
Mr. Ernest Badu-Boateng, Chairman of the KATH Chapter of the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS), in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Kumasi, said they were professionals.
Justifying the strike action, he pointed out that the Hospital erred in posting the medical officers to the LSD since the medical laboratory scientists were capable of handling their own affairs.
“The Association would resist any attempt on the part of the Hospital’s Management or the Board to create a new unit within the current LSD structure called ‘Clinical Haematology Unit’ for these Medical Officers” he stated.
The industrial action by the medical laboratory scientists, who play a critical role in the healthcare delivery system, including examining and analyzing blood, body fluids, tissues and cells, had brought many inconveniences to patients visiting the health facility.
The current impasse had compelled the Management of KATH to engage the services of private medical laboratories for clinical services.
In an interview with the GNA, some of the desperate patients entreated the Management of the Hospital and the Ministry of Health (MoH) to resolve the differences as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the Ministry, in a recent statement, appealed to the striking medical laboratory scientists to rescind their decision, and be ready for negotiations to address their grievances.