The members of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital branch of the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) have escalated their strike to a full-blown one.
Effective Wednesday, the members had decided to stay away from work until their issues were resolved.
Per the new directive, all members of the association would stay home and not go to work as they had been doing for the past one week.
The Chairman of the branch, Mr Ernest Badu Boateng, said all their offices would be locked and no staff would be at work.
He told the Daily Graphic that management was unable to meet their demands for the removal of the two physicians from the Haematology Department after the initial one-week sit-down strike.
He said the management seemed not to be ready to solve the issue as the two persons were still at post.
Mr Boateng said members had been in talks with management over the issue since 2019 and expressed the belief that they had given management enough time to resolve the issue.
According to him, the national body was in full support of the decision of the local branch and in the coming days, all the members from their other teaching hospitals would also lay down their tools in solidarity with their fight.
Mr Boateng said from all indications, it seemed management was not ready to heed their request but were rather bringing in more physicians to the department.
That, according to him, would be resisted.
A week ago, the members of the association gave the management of the hospital a one-week ultimatum to withdraw the appointment of the two Haematology Physicians from the Laboratory Services Directorate of the hospital after all attempts by the members to withdraw them failed.
The members believed the appointment of the two medical officers to the department was an intrusion into the profession of the medical laboratory technicians which, according to them, was regulated by law.
The Public Relations Officer of KATH, Mr Kwame Frimpong, told the Daily Graphic that the strike had greatly affected the operations of the hospital, particularly its revenues.
However, he said, management had made arrangements with private laboratories for emergency cases and patients on admission.
In the meantime, he said, all cases requiring laboratory investigations had been suspended until the personnel resumed work.
According to him, that was not the first time such arrangements had been made and that whenever there was any labour unrest, management made arrangements with private service providers in order to save lives.
“Our mandate is to save lives so we always make sure that we have alternative measures in place to help us save lives,” he said.
Mr Frimpong, however, explained that the move was not to undermine their industrial action but just to ensure that lives were saved.
He said management would continue to engage the striking lab scientists until an amicable solution was found.