The Medical Laboratory Professional Workers’ Union (MELPWU) has called on the government to as a matter of urgency, post all qualified medical laboratory science graduates to fill vacancies at various hospitals to support in providing quality medical laboratory services to Ghanaians.
According to the union, dozens of newly qualified medical laboratory scientists, including Doctor of Medical Laboratory Science graduates from the University for Development Studies, remain home after graduation, although their services are urgently needed at the hospitals.
The Union made the call in a communique issued after its 2nd Special Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Swearing in Ceremony for its Executives at Fumesua-Kumasi in the Ashanti Region on the theme; “The Changing World of Work, The Role of Trade Unions and the Employer in Industrial Relations.”
The communique signed by Patrick Nsobilla Asebga, National Chairman, and Cephas Kofi Akortor, General Secretary of the union, also called on the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to engage MELPWU in reviewing the single spine salary structure for medical laboratory professionals, which currently has inequalities and weak condition of service for medical laboratory professionals.
“We urge that the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, as well as the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD), take urgent steps to correct all salary discrepancies affecting our members with special attention on the market premium for Deputy Chief Biomedical Scientists and Chief Biomedical Scientists on the CAGD payroll as well as wrong placement for some Laboratory Assistants and Technical Officers whose grades have been wrongly assigned and reduced on the payroll.
“The Union demands immediate correction and payment of all arrears due such members,” the communique stated, adding that “the Union informs the employer of its intention and readiness to negotiate condition of service for the medical laboratory workforce.”
It explained that the union remained concerned about the need to have a condition of service, job evaluation, and a strong salary placement and recruitment plan for the medical laboratory science graduates especially the Doctor of Medical Laboratory Science graduates from the University for Development Studies, and Fellows of the West African Post-Graduate College of Medical Laboratory Science, as well as the need for the employer to issue official appointment letters to all medical laboratory managers.
The union also called for the establishment of a medical laboratory science council, and the implementation of the national health laboratory policy, which would determine the scheme of service and scope of practice to clearly define the authorized role of medical laboratory professionals in the inter-professional healthcare team.
That, they believe will provide guidance and a clear direction to practitioners, trainers, service providers, and regulatory authorities in determining the acceptable level of practice for the medical laboratory science practitioners in Ghana, and promote sanity in the healthcare industry.
When these are addressed, the union is confident that productivity in the health sector would be enhanced through the provision of quality laboratory services.