Ministry of Health urges KATH lab scientists to call off strike

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The Ministry of Health (MoH) has appealed to the striking laboratory scientists at the Konfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) to resume work as their issues are addressed.

A statement signed by the Chief Director of the MoH, Mr Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari said “A stakeholder meeting will be convened by the MoH within three weeks to adopt a road map for final resolution. You are requested to submit your memorandum to the Hon. Minister by. Thursday 27th May, 2021.”

“By this letter, the Ministry urges all parties involved, particularly, the KATH Chapter of GAMLS and KATH Doctors Association (KADA) to stay away from any industrial action.”

The strike which started on Wednesday, May 19 is already taking a toll on health service delivery.

Patients accessing laboratory services at the hospital were left stranded, Thursday, morning.

Some frustrated patients have pleaded with the government to ensure the striking laboratory scientists return to post.

The usual congestion at the parasitology and haematology units of the Komfo Anokye polyclinic was absent when the news team visited.

The situation was not different at the clinical bacteriology laboratory.

Patients who have been referred to the units for laboratory services were turned away.

“I came for a lab test yesterday. I’m here this morning to get the results but I’m told the laboratory scientists are on strike. I just don’t know what to do now because the doctor needs the results to treat me”, a frustrated Aunty Yaa fumed.

“A doctor asked me to come here for a lab test but the laboratory people are telling me to go to a private facility for the test because they’re not working. When I inquired, the cost outside is almost double. This is really frustrating. Government should just address their concerns for them to return to work”, a patient, Isaac Tawiah told TV’s Ibrahim Abubakar.

The laboratory professionals were at the post but did not render their services to clients when 3news visited the various labs.

Chairman of the KATH chapter of the Association, Ernest Badu-Boateng says they will only call off the sit-down strike if their demands are met.

“It is unfortunate it has come to this stage where patients are turned away but we pushed to the wall. We have been dialoguing with management for 2 years. All we are asking is for the management of KATH to move the medical officers out of the lab for peace to prevail. Their job is to do consulting and treatment and not laboratory work”

The striking laboratory scientists are protesting the posting of two physician specialists at the laboratory Services directorate as clinical haematologists by the management of the hospital.

Source: 3news