The Ghana Medical Association (GMA), is demanding that laboratory physicians forced out of various hospital laboratories, amid the tensions between laboratory scientists and doctors, be restored.
The GMA in a communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Council meeting singled out the Komfo Anokye, Korle-Bu, and Cape Coast Teaching hospitals in this regard.
The GMA stated that” the view that only medical laboratory scientists regulated by the Allied Health Professions should work in the hospital laboratories to the exclusion of all other cadres of the Laboratory professionals (especially laboratory physicians) in Ghana is erroneous and ill-intentioned”.
According to the GMA, globally, Laboratory Physicians/Pathologists who are qualified Medical Doctors specialized in laboratory medicine /pathology are manning medical laboratories due to their suitability to the work leveraging on their medical background for better analysis therefore same must be harmonized into Ghana’s healthcare system for efficiency and quality healthcare delivery.
The association however bemoaned recent developments in the laboratory ecosystem in public health facilities stating that “over the past couple of years some cadre of Laboratory physicians have been prevented from performing their functions within the laboratory in the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) especially and now Komfo Anokye and Cape Coast Teaching Hospitals. Also, residents (postgraduate medical doctors in training in laboratory medicine) and some specialist Laboratory Physicians have been denied access to laboratory as well as in some cases, access to patients’ laboratory information for them to make inputs. This hostility was also extended to other categories of Doctors doing residency programs in other specialties such as internal medicine and family medicine who are mandated to have rotations in the laboratory as part of their training”.