KATH Laboratory rendered empty as a result of the strike

The Ghana Medical Association is demanding the return of all Laboratory Physicians who have been forced out of their places of work within the various hospital laboratories.

The group says it will also be forced to reject laboratory results without authorization by qualified laboratory physicians.

In a communique, the Association called for the immediate seizure of all forms of threats, harassment and assault directed at Laboratory Physician residents and specialists by the members of the medical laboratory scientists.

“All forms of threats (including but not limited to murder and bodily harm), harassment and assault directed at these Laboratory Physician residents and Specialists should cease forthwith. The GMA takes a very serious view of these otherwise criminal activities at the workplace that are directed towards our members by the medical laboratory scientists,” the communique said

President of the Association, Dr. Frank Ankobiah read the communique at the 3rd National Executive Council meeting at Koforidua in the Eastern region.

As part of the many resolutions being sought, the GMA is demanding the following:

“All Laboratory Physicians (Doctors) who have been forced out of their places of work within the various hospital laboratories (especially in Korle-Bu, Komfo Anokye and Cape Coast Teaching hospital) be restored with immediate effect to enable them practice their lawfully chosen profession or specialization and sub-specialities.”

“All other forms of threats (including but not limited to murder and bodily harm), harassment and assault directed at these Laboratory Physician residents and Specialists should cease forthwith”

“When push comes to shove, the GMA and its members may be forced to reject laboratory results without authorization by qualified laboratory Physicians at a point in time,” part of the communique read.

“The GMA hereby serves notice that the afore listed resolutions if not fully addressed by the Ministry of Health and its agencies (especially management of the various hospitals) will result in the GMA taking drastic measures that will definitely disturb the current seemingly industrial harmony and health care delivery throughout the country,” Dr. Ankobiah warned.

“This is a commitment that the GMA and its members will never waiver on,” he emphasized.

The Medical Laboratory scientists embarked on a strike action in solidarity with their members at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) who began a one-week sit-down strike last week, following the posting of two medical officers to the Laboratory Services Directorate of the hospital.

But the Ghana Medical Association insists the Laboratory Physicians are medical doctors who have undergone specialist training hence qialify to work in the laboratory.

The Association also described as false claims by the local chapter of the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital that two haematologists were posted to the laboratory to head the unit.

“The view that that only medical laboratory scientists regulated by the Allied Health Professions Council should work in hospital laboratories to the exclusion of all other cadres of laboratory professionals (especially laboratory Physicians) in Ghana is erroneous and ill-intentioned.” The group stated

To help resolve the impasse, the GMA called for a broader stakeholder consultation to look at the draft National Laboratory Policy.