General News of Monday, 28 May 2018
An indefinite strike by members of the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists has left hundreds of patients at public hospitals stranded.
The Association started its announced nationwide strike in objection to salary discrepancies that had existed for six years after the introduction of the Single Spine Pay Policy, among other things.
Citi News’ Philip Nii Lartey who assessed the impact of the strike at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital reported that “red bands had been tied to the doors of the central laboratory to signify the strike by the lab scientists.”
“Activities at the blood bank have also come to a halt. This has made donors and patients frustrated,” Philip Lartey added.
Similar situation in Eastern Region
Meanwhile, patients in the Eastern Region encountered similar challenges as they were turned away at various laboratory units in some public hospitals, following the declaration of a nationwide strike.
Citi News’ checks in some major health facilities in the Eastern Region this morning revealed that most laboratory units and offices were locked with laboratory staff, not at the post.
In the Central Region, technicians and other officials at the region’s premier hospital, Cape Coast Teaching Hospital were asked to return.
The head of the laboratory at the Tetteh Quashie Memorial Hospital, Alhaji Munkaila Ibrahim confirmed to Citi News that their action would profoundly affect health care delivery in the district.
“We are not rendering any services to any client in the hospital here today. We ourselves do not like the issue of embarking on a strike, but the problem has been on the table for a very long time which has to be addressed.
“This is the only language that government understands. This issue is going to affect healthcare delivery because most diagnoses are based on lab information that is generated, and most decisions are taken based on the lab results, so if the lab results are not there, certain decisions will be wrongly taken,” Mr Ibrahim said.
The Association has also accused medical superintendents and directors of disrespecting their profession by employing unlicensed personnel to take their place in their absence and by so doing, endangering the general public.
According to the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists over 90 percent of laboratory processes in public health facilities in Ghana are not controlled, and this threatens the quality or accuracy of lab results churned out.
The Association blames this mainly on the lack of supervision and quality control.
Last week Monday Laboratory Technicians embarked on a partial withdrawal of their services across the country.
The action was in protest of salary discrepancies that had existed for six years after the introduction of the single spine pay policy.