Biomedical Scientists Plead For Presidential Assent … For Allied Health Professional Bill

The Brong-Ahafo Regional Branch of the Ghana Association of Biomedical Laboratory Scientists (GABMLS) has called for an immediate Presidential Assent on the Allied Health Professional Bill. When passed, the bill would help regulate the setting-up of private laboratories and operations of practitioners, bring sanity into the sector and promote quality healthcare delivery especially in rural areas.

Parliament passed the bill in December last year and it is now awaiting Presidential Assent.

Mr Dennis Adu-Gyasi, Brong-Ahafo Regional Chairman of the Association, made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani on Monday to mark this year’s celebration of the International Biomedical Laboratory Day.

The day was instituted by the International Federation of Biomedical Sciences, an affiliate of GABMLS and observed on April 15, every year, to sensitise the general public on basic laboratory tests and operations. Mr Adu-Gyasi noted with regret the rate at which unlicensed private laboratories were springing up in Brong-Ahafo indicating that most of those laboratories did not engage professionals.

He said because there was no law or legal backing, the association found it difficult to check the operations of those laboratories.

Mr Adu-Gyasi said with the passage of the bill, employers in the sector would also be compelled to provide the required logistics, consumables and other equipment such as reagents and analyzers for effective work. He said currently the Brong-Ahafo Regional Hospital in Sunyani and other district hospitals lacked many of those equipment which hindered the activities of the laboratory scientists.

Mr George Osei, Organising Secretary of the Association, said though the Ministry of Health had set up an interim taskforce to check activities of the private laboratories, because there was no laws to back them, it had become difficult for them to close down the quack ones.

He said the association had a membership of more than 800 in the region and 2,200 nationwide and conducted malaria, paternity, HIV/AIDS and other tests for diagnosis at public health facilities.GNA