Medical Laboratory Professionals have resumed work at the various facilities as directed by the National Labour Commission (NLM) Monday, June 24, 2024.

A visit by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) to some facilities saw the professionals at post, putting their equipment in place as well as engaged in recalibration to get the facilities ready and allow full operations on Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

Prior to the strike action, all machines were shut down, so they have to put them in order for work to start smoothly.

Although they were not in full operation, they attended to some clients, who had gone there to access their services.

Clients who spoke to the GNA on condition of anonymity, said they faced a difficult situation during the strike and had to postpone their surgeries.

Mr John Kofi Nakoja, Chairman of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital Chapter of Medical Laboratory Professionals Workers Union (MELPWU), said although they were not happy with the directive by the Commission, they had suspended the strike due to t
he cry of Ghanaians and the dire consequences that could happen.

‘When we went on strike, NLC did not invite us, the government did not see the need to call us to the table, but we saw the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian, elsewhere they cannot get alternatives to do their labs.

‘We cannot be fighting a government that does not care, at least Ghanaians have seen that the government has not been fair to us, so it is because of the sympathy we have for the ordinary Ghanaian that we have suspended the strike,’ he said.

Mr Nakoja said providing them with improved conditions of service would boost their confidence, adding that Professionals were exposed to infections and diseases in their line of duty, yet their conditions of service were not known.

The Chairman said many laboratory Professionals had contracted Bacterial infections, exposure to radiation, eye problems and inhalation effects.

‘Our lives are in danger, just like a soldier on a mission to save the nation. This is the profession we have chosen, so
looking at the dangers that it poses to us we have no option because if everyone decides not to work in the lab, how is the ordinary Ghanaian going to survive,’ he added.

He called for an urgent conclusion of negotiation on their conditions of service, adding that they would not be able work in such hazardous environments without a condition of service as they were exposed to a lot of infections.

‘There is nothing in place for you with regards to healthcare and when you die in the course of your duty, what happens to your family, nobody cares for us,’ he said.

Mr David Azumah Nelson, a Medical Laboratory Professional, also the Supervisor for the Haematology Department of the Korle-Bu Central Laboratory told the GNA that he had developed eye defects because of the work.

He said, ‘When I entered the profession, I saw most of my senior colleagues in glasses and were complaining about their eyes, but I thought it was far-fetched. 15 years into the practice, l have started wearing glasses due to the hazards an
d risk from the work.’

He said wearing his seventh pair of spectacles and nobody was paying for the expenses and no allowance to take care of such.

‘Even during the COVID-19 season, we were here working, and we got nothing. I personally contacted Covid about two to three times and at one point, we had to shut down the whole facility because almost all of us were infected with the virus and if I had died in the course of service, what happens to my wife and kids,’ he said.

He said there were a lot of risks involved, hence, the importance of concluding the negotiation on their conditions of service.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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