‘The Laboratory doesn’t belong to lab scientists alone’

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has risen to the defense of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) for assigning two haematologists (Physicians) to some key positions at its Laboratory Service Directorate, a move that has faced stiff opposition from laboratory scientists at the facility.

They (Komfo Anokye Chapter of the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS)), begun a one-week sit-down strike on Thursday, May 20, 2021, to demand a reversal of the decision.

The National Association has also threatened to escalate the strike if the management of KATH remains adamant.

Mr. Ernest Badu Boateng, the Chairman of the Komfo Anokye Chapter, maintained that they will only rescind their decision if the management of the hospital heeds their advice.

“Tomorrow [Thursday], our chapter will meet and scale up our strike to a full-blown strike where we won’t come to work at all, and the signals I am picking is that others in parts of the country are ready to join us from Thursday and then from Monday, the nationwide strike takes effect should the situation remain the same.”

“But in case we declare our strike and the management heed our demands and withdraw the said doctors, we will also return to work, but should they remain adamant and intransigent, then that is how it is going to be.”

The Bono, Bono East, and Central Regional chapters of the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS), have also declared their support for the strike embarked upon by their colleagues at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, and have vowed to join the action if their concerns are not addressed.

But the Ghana Medical Association, GMA, in reacting to the development also threatened to take action if the haematologists are reassigned.

The General Secretary of GMA, Dr. Justice Yankson, speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, said the Association will oppose any attempt to remove the physicians from their lawful positions.

“All I am trying to say is that this is a specialization and a practice that predates those making all the arguments and whatever they want to talk about now. You cannot say that the laboratory space belongs to only laboratory technologists or medical laboratory technicians. The best practices all over the world tell you that there is a space in the lab for different facets of other professionals to work and work together.”

“So if your argument is that somebody who has spent 10 to 15 years of his life studying and finally moving on to become a specialist in laboratory medicine whose place of work includes the laboratory, and has been duly appointed to go and work there, and you say because the person is a physician you are going on a nationwide strike; then where should the person go and practice his or her lawfully chosen profession?” he quizzed.



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