The Health Committee of Parliament, through its Chairman and ranking member, has called on the striking Laboratory Scientist to return to post and save lives with immediate effect, as they engage stakeholders to resolve their challenges.
In his remarks, the Committee Chairman, Dr. Nana Ayew Afriyie, expressed worry over the welfare of the ordinary Ghanaian whom he said would bear the brunt of the strike action.
“When they embark on the strike, the doctor cannot do his work. He needs the result from the lab to prescribe the right medication for the patient. We cannot be indifferent about the situation because if a patient dies, we cannot revive him, but for their case, we can speak on it.”
He also expressed disappointment over the protestors’ failure to petition the committee to help address the matter. According to him, the committee had in the past helped with similar situations for which reason they hoped that they would be contacted.
“When you go to the big hospitals, their boards did not have representation for the Laboratory Scientists and the Allied Health Scientists, but when they drew our attention to it, we understood and did our best to change the regulation for their inclusion,” he said.
The Committee Chairman added: “They have this friendly relationship with us where they are able to approach the house on such issues, and Parliament has the power to summon the sector minister [Kweku Agyemang Manu] and other sector ministers as well to the house to respond to the issues and they have to appear.”
The ranking member on the committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, also added that he was surprise of the decision and the posture of the health Minister, Mr. Kwaku Agyeman Manu, for not acting swiftly in resolving the issue when the strike begun.
He likewise advised the striking laboratory scientists to go back to work as the committee is looking forward to receiving their petition and to act accordingly in resolving the situation.
The issue came up in Parliament today when the committee met with the Parliamentary press Corps to state their position on the matter.
About the Strike
On May 20, 2021, the Haematology Laboratory Scientists at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital embarked on a sit-down strike over the presence of two Clinical Haematologists in their lab.
According to the chairman of the protesting group, the presence of the two health workers was aimed at subjecting the protesters to the latter’s control which was against the rule that defined the composition of the lab in terms of personnel.
They also indicated that the functions the two were going to perform were already performed by the scientists mandated to work in the lab, hence their presence only seeks to usurp the roles assigned to the official lab scientists.
The protestors noted that if nothing is done to solve the problem by May 26, 2021, they would meet again as a group and deliberate on the next move to drum home their message.