Health Committee Begs Striking Lab Scientists

The Health Committee of Parliament has issued pleadings to angry medical laboratory scientists to call off their ongoing strike and cooperate to resolve the impasse.

The strike started when laboratory scientists from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi downed their tools over what they described as an invasion of their professional space by some medical doctors.

Several Regions have indicated plans to join in the industrial action, with Upper West and Bono East Region being the latest.

Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Ayew Afriyie, pleaded with the striking technicians that human lives must not be sacrificed on the altar of outstanding issues that can be addressed.

The striking Lab technicians are kicking against a decision by the Hospital’s management to reassign two haematologists to the lab unit.

Addressing the media in Parliament on Thursday, Dr. Ayew Afriyie said the health committee is ready to look into the grievances of the striking workers.

 “We have not been petitioned on the matter, but as an issue of public concern, we would want to speak on it. We represent our constituents, and the harsh effects of the decision of the total strike by the laboratory scientists eventually will be borne by our constituents. It is in this regard that we see the need to hold a common position to speak on this issue at the moment,” Dr. Ayew said.

“We have worked very much with various stakeholders in line with our standing orders before, and we are able to take petitions and work to satisfy the public interest. We have worked with the laboratory scientists just last year before the new Teaching Hospitals Amendment Act was passed.”

The industrial action which started in KATH on May 20 has already gathered widespread support from Lab technicians and other allied medical professionals.

The protest at KATH had started as a sit-down strike but has escalated into a total withdrawal of services at an emergency meeting on Wednesday.

“Until management resolves our issues, we are not going to come to work,” President of the KATH branch of GAMLS, Ernest Badu-Boateng announced to the media.

According to them, professional members of the association who qualify to fill the two available slots have been sacrificed for the medical doctors who have been posted to the KATH laboratory.

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