Patients stranded at KATH Laboratory

Authorities at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital say the hospital is reeling under the impact of a sit-down strike being embarked upon by laboratory scientists.

The over 300 members of the Ghana National Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists are not happy with the decision by the Management of KATH to post two medical officers to the Directorate.

They insist the appointment of the two, is intended to sideline their members who are qualified for the position. 

Members say they will continue to withdraw their services until the decision is reversed. Some of them were seen idling in the presence of their disappointed patients.

Patients who require laboratory tests have been left stranded at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital as the laboratory scientists’ strike action continues.

Management say the action of the laboratory scientists has affected operations of the hospital.

“Definitely, if you have your in-house  medical laboratory scientists going on strike,  definitely we would be affected.

And if even you put in alternative measures like we are doing, it would not be as effective as if you have your in-house team working 24/7  as they used to be,” Public  Relations  Officer, Kwame Frimpong told JoyNews.

KATH Laboratory Scientists strike
The KATH Laboratory area is deserted

Many patients who need laboratory services are stranded with some seeking services outside the hospital. 

Some members of the Ghana National Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists were seen idling in the presence of their disappointed patients at the Microbiology, Haematology, Chemical Pathology and Histopathology laboratories.

“Since they are saying they are going on strike, it means we have to wait till they resume so that if we are able to get our results, we can send it to our respective medical doctors,” a disappointed patient told JoyNews.

The laboratory scientists, laboratory technicians and laboratory assistants however say they are concerned about the impact of the strike.

“I am not a happy man. If I am happy with what’s happening, probably this strike would have happened 2-years ago. We are not happy because we decided to dialogue for good 2-years but Management and the Ministry did not heed to our call.”

That’s what has brought us to this stage today”, that’s according to Ernest Badu-Boateng, Chairman of  the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital branch of the Association.

Alternative measures

Management of KATH says alternative measures would be implemented to mitigate the effect of the striking laboratory scientists.

Mr. Kwame Frimpong announced Management is in discussion with peripheral hospitals and private laboratories to work on samples from KATH.

This according to him,  would be rolled out soon.

“This is a crisis and we are doing everything possible to mitigate it ,” Mr. Kwame Frimpong said.

“There are some contingency measures to provide some level of laboratory services for our patients.  Enough arrangements are being made and it is our hope that very soon the hospital would be able to serve most patients who come here as far as laboratory services are concerned.”

He added that, “In fact, arrangements have already commenced and we are in talks with some partners including hospitals and private laboratory service providers in the city so that we can put in a system that ensures that samples that are collected at the hospital are processed by these partners.”