The Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) have disclosed that more than 30 percent of the about 5,000 medical laboratory practitioners in the various health institutions, including government hospitals, do not have licenses permitting them to undertake such medical duties.
Dr Ignatius A.N. Awinibuno President of the association says a survey conducted by the GAMLS in the then 10 regions of the country in 2018 revealed that the licenses of many people working as medical laboratory scientists, technicians or technologists had either expired or they did not have any license at all, after years of practice.
According to him, the survey also showed that certain individuals who had no academic and professional background in medical laboratory practice were performing professional roles in many private and public medical laboratories.
Dr Awinibuno made this known while interacting with journalists at the launch of a professional handbook and logbook designed by the Accra Technical University for its Medical Laboratory Science students in Accra on April 4, 2019.
“We received continuous reports from some of our members regarding the calibre of persons they were working within some institutions. In the interest of protecting the image of the profession, we tasked our regional executives to undertake a survey to verify those claims.
“I can say on authority that from a little survey that we did, close to 40 percent of the about 5,000 people practising in our medical laboratories are not qualified,” he emphasized.
Dr Awinibuno blamed the situation on what he described as the ineffectiveness of the AHPC in the delivery of its mandate.
He said the council, in spite of its duty to regulate 17 separate health professions in the country, did not have physical presence in all the 16 regions of the country, apart from its head office in Accra.
“The council has existed without a governing board to steer its operations for the past 26 months. We are by this behaviour promoting sub-standard practice which is detrimental to the health of the citizenry,” he said.