Biomedical Scientists want speedy resolution of Single Spine Salary discrepancies

The Ghana Association of Biomedical Laboratory Scientists (GABMLS), has called on the Fair Wages and Salary Commission and the Ministry of Health (MOH) to fast-track the time-table for the resolution of the discrepancies and anomalies that characterised the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Scheme (SSSS).

It appealed to the National Health Insurance Authority  to review the low tariffs paid for medical laboratory services, and noted that the bundle system was not helpful to the development of medical laboratory services in terms of revenue generation and cost recovery.

“Medical laboratory services should therefore, be de-bundled and itemised to fairly reflect the high level of input required to provide these services.”

The call was made in a communique adopted at the end of their two-day 2011 Annual National Congress in Accra.

It was on the theme: ” Regulation of Medical Laboratory Practice in Ghana: Key in Achieving Quality Healthcare and Millennium Development goals “.

The GABMLS is the second professional body registered in accordance with the Professional Bodies Registration Decree, and the annual national congress is the highest platform for members to deliberate on issues of national interest, updates on the profession and the way forward.

The communique called on Parliament to pass the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Bill into law to protect the public from unethical and unprofessional practices as well as from illegal, incompetent and unqualified practitioners.

It said Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ghana Health Service (GHS) should ensure that Functional Quality Assurance Systems be put in place, in all medical laboratories, in addition, they ensure that on-call duty allowances were paid to biomedical scientists who were on-call and offer such services.

The communique stressed the need for training curriculum on medical laboratory safety to enable facilities implement basic concepts in biological safety and national code of handling pathogenic micro-organisms in laboratories be developed, while  harmonisation of training curriculum in the sub-region in collaboration with West African Health Organization  be pursued.

It said biomedical scientists were and remained committed to providing quality healthcare delivery for the good of the citizenry.

The comunique called on all persons practicing Medical Laboratory Science to take immediate steps to register with the professional body and comply fully with the professional code of practice.

It said Ghana Standards Authority  and MOH should ensure that ISO 15189 be recognized as the National Standard for the operation of Medical Laboratories in the country, as well as ensuring that training in ISO 15189 covered all health facilities including the teaching hospitals, private laboratories, quasi-government hospitals, and mission hospitals.

The communique said MOH and GHS should ensure that WHO/AFRO accreditation scheme for selected health facilities was extended to cover all regional and district hospitals across the country, and ensure that quality manuals with clearly defined bio-risk management measures were developed at all levels.

It said drug susceptibility-testing to give accurate data in support of clinical decision making and prevention of further emergence of drug resistance should be improved, while MOH and GHS ensured all district hospital laboratories had functioning microbiology laboratories for drug susceptibility testing.

The communique noted that the role of biomedical scientists in the diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and care of patients and in surveillance of diseases of public health importance towards quality healthcare delivery remained critical, and that serious challenges, confronted the profession in its quest to providing quality medical laboratory service.

It said the direct and indirect impacts of medical laboratory service in achieving the Millennium Development goals particularly the health-related ones remain immensely high.

The statement said the efficiency and effectiveness of medical laboratory services go a long way to accelerate efforts towards the achieving quality healthcare and the MDGs aimed at providing equitable and affordable healthcare of the highest standard to all the citizenry.

It said that there exist currently inadequate medical laboratory facilities in the country, implying that tests were unavailable to the majority of patients in most parts of the country.

The communique said highly qualified and competent biomedical scientists played significant role in ensuring appropriate use of medical laboratory testing for achieving timely and quality healthcare.

It said the principles of evidence-based medicine required that treatment and management of patients be based largely on informed scientific evidence/data from medical laboratory analysis of clinical samples with emphasis on efficiency and effectiveness of Medical Laboratory Quality Management System (MLQMS)      .

The communique acknowledged the significant role and efforts made by the Deputy Minister of Health in resolving challenges that culminated in the nationwide strike embarked upon by the association from November 9-11, 2011.

Source: GNA

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