Biomedical Laboratory Scientists withdraw services

Mr Alex Segbefia, Minister of HealthThe Ghana Association of Biomedical Laboratory Scientists (GABMLS) of public health facilities across the country have for the past four days withdrawn all laboratory and blood banking services.

Their ongoing strike is to compel the Ministry of Health (MOH) to launch and implement the National Health Laboratory Policy, the National Accreditation Policy and the National Health Laboratory Strategic Plan document.

The implementation of these policies will transform the practice of medical laboratory in Ghana by ensuring accessible, affordable, accurate, reliable, safe and harmonised medical laboratory services.

The implementation of the policy documents is being advocated for by the GABMLS and was signed by the then Minister for Health Mrs. Sherry Hanny Ayitey in 2013.

The General Secretary of GABMLS, Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) Michael Amo Omari told The Ghanaian Times in an interview in Accra yesterday that the strike was necessitated by the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) insensitivity to the association’s simple plight of launching and implementing the policies.

“After attending 40 meeting, dialogues and sending even a similar number of correspondences all to no avail since 2013, no other proof is required to support our claims of the ministry’s indifference to our issues,” he said.

Mr. Omari said the MOH had not demonstrated enough commitment to improving medical laboratory services in Ghana and by implication health care by dragging its feet in the implementation of the policy which was developed through the support of the United States Government.

“Medical laboratory services are at the centre of health care delivery and the backbone of clinical and public healthcare services and deserves the needed attention,” he said.

The implementation of the policy according to Mr. Omari was urgently needed to address issues such as the erratic supply of quality control materials and reagents, non-functional equipment, and shortage of reagents to work.

“Our actions today will save the nation a higher number of preventable deaths, morbidity and further insufficient utilisation of national resources,” he said.

Meanwhile the National Labour Commission (NLC) has filed a suit at the Labour Division of the High Court against the striking of the biomedical laboratory scientists, praying the court to ask them to go back to work.

By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey




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