Laboratory scientists in government hospitals in the Ashanti Regional capital Kumasi are yet to resume work despite a directive by National Labour Commission (NLC).
The laboratories remained closed as of Monday morning, TV’s Ashanti regional correspondent Ibrahim Abubakar reported.
The NLC secured an ex-parte injunction against the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) for proceeding on strike without due process.
The injunction cited the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) chapter of the Association.
The injunction was filed on Friday, May 28 at the Accra High Court.
After the Court heard the counsel for the NLC led by Effiba Amihere, it ordered that the KATH Chapter of GAMLS “whether by itself, its executives, officers, members, agents, servants, employees or other persons are restrained from proceeding with its intended illegal strike action and to comply with the procedure provided under the Labour Act for resolving their dispute with their employer”.
The KATH Chapter of GAMLS embarked on a sit-down strike on Thursday, May 20 to register members’ disagreement with authorities for posting two physicians to the Haematology or Laboratory Department of the Hospital.
Exactly a week after that strike, the national executives in solidarity declared a nationwide indefinite strike.
But NLC has declared the strike illegal, the reason it proceeded to court.
Officials at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, KATH say there is no board in place to review an earlier decision, which resulted in the posting of two doctors to head the laboratory department of the hospital.
Although management of the facility insist the doctors were not sent there to take over the role of laboratory scientists, the absence of the board will make it practically impossible to remove the two doctors.
The board took this decision in 2019.
But Kwame Frimpong, the Head of Public Relations of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital who spoke to host of the 3FM’s Sunrise Morning Show, Alfred Ocansey asked “ Is there a legal basis to force the board for taken that decision. People come from all over the country to our hospital, infact, we take direct referrals from 13 out of the 16 regions in Ghana.
They come with leukemia and they are sent to Korle Bu in Accra so management sat down and knowing the weakness in the area sent two doctors to Accra for training as specialist in Haematology and they are brought to come and offer critical services.
The board thought that this is a critical need and there is no legal basis to deny them the opportunity to practice their profession”.
According to him, the board makes all final decisions and management cannot reverse it.
“Mind you the board is the highest decision making body and management has no power to reverse it. Concerns have been received but because of the absence of the board the matter was being referred to the Ministry of Health and they [ lab technicians ] were written to”.
Mr. Kwame Frimpong also clarified that a medical laboratory scientist is heading the lab department whiles the doctors are in a different setting all together.
“You can do your independent checks at the hospital. The doctors are not encroaching on the space of the medical lab scientists. They are not even using their equipment”.