Ghana must urgently implement the National Health Laboratory Policy

The absence of a national health laboratory policy and strategic planning mechanism is affecting laboratory management at all levels of Ghana’s healthcare delivery system.

A situation analysis carried out by the professional laboratory body and other reputable international agencies reveals that some significant progress has been made in strengthening the capacity of medical laboratory services to deliver quality services.

This follows the enactment of the Health Professionals Regulatory Bodies Act 2012 (Act 857) which is helping clean up the system of quackery in insist in best practices in medical laboratory practice.

But major challenges still exist in the country, according to the Ghana Association of Biomedical Laboratory Scientists (GABMLS).

President of the Association, Prince Sodoke Amuzu, says the inherent challenges are mainly structural and functional gaps constraining the ability of the laboratory to deliver quality services.

He has therefore charged the Ministry of Health to, as a matter of urgency, facilitate the launch and implementation of the National Health Laboratory Policy documents.

The documents have been shelved for more than a year after completion by the Ghana Health Service, initialed by the Centre for Disease Control, USA.

Prince Amuzu has also called on the ministry to consider the reconstitution of the Allied Health Professions Regulatory Council Board.

“Certain people on that Board are not qualified to be there; the number of the constituents is not up to what the law says it should be – they are seven the law is asking for nine; and you need to appoint a full-time Registrar,” he observed.

Speaking to Luv News at the 2014 Annual Regional Congress and Scientific Conference of the Association in Kumasi, Prince Amuzu noted that competing priorities in the health sector have traditionally relegated the laboratory to the low ranking and starved of resources.

Chief Executive of the Ashanti regional health directorate, Dr. Alexis Nang-Beifubah, has committed to liaise with interest groups to clamp down on illegal laboratory facilities and unlicensed practitioners.

Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh

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