President of the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS), Dr Ignatus A.N Awinibuno has bemoaned the effects of the activities of quack medical laboratory personnel in the country. According to Dr Awinibuno, about 30- 50% of personnel working in medical laboratories across the country do not have the valid license to practice. The activities of these quacks do not only pose a threat to public safety but also affect the association’s vision of providing accurate and quality service to the public, he added.
Dr Awinibuno therefore called on the health facility regulatory agency which is responsible for regulating the establishment of health facilities to act fast and clamp down on unlicensed laboratories, most of which engage the services of these unlicensed laboratory personnel. “Mushroom laboratories, kiosk laboratories should not be allowed, they are a danger to society”.
Ironically, there are about 2000 unemployed licensed laboratory professionals awaiting employment since 2012, as revealed by Dr Awinibuno. He appealed to the government to immediately hire these unemployed graduates to take over from the quacks. “Government should immediately employ the graduates who have been sitting in the house all these years so that we can clear the quacks from the labs; this is a clear message we are putting across”.
The GAMLS president also identified cheap labor as one of the reasons some medical laboratories engage the services of unlicensed personnel.
Dr Ignatus A.N Awinibuno was speaking to the media during the 2019 Annual National Congress and Second Health Laboratory Summit in Jirapa on Thursday, October 3, 2019.
This year’s congress themed “Ghana’s Health Policy Framework and the Practice of Medical Laboratory Science in the 21st century” brought together over 200 participants from across the country, and is scheduled from 1st – 5th October, 2019.