By: Jerry Akornor/, Ghana

The Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) has called on President Akufo-Addo to immediately set up Medical Laboratory Science Council and increase healthcare expenditure to 10% of Ghana’s GDP to achieve sustainable healthcare. Ghana’s healthcare expenditure currently stands at 4% below the World Health Organisations’ recommended benchmark of 15%.

According to the Out-going President of GAMLS, Dr. Ignatius A. N. Awinibuno, such increment will help expand local capacity, achieve self-reliant medical laboratory industry and accelerate Ghana’s development agenda.

Speaking at the 2020 Annual National Congress of GAMLS in Takoradi, Dr. Awinibuno said “The fundamental inputs that propels the mission and vision of the healthcare agenda of Ghana cannot be achieved without the total involvement of the lab scientists. Laboratory is central to healthcare, relevant regulatory regime and implementing policies is crucial”.

Dr. N.A Awinibuno

GAMLS is demanding from government:

  • The Establishment of Medical Laboratory Science Council to develop dynamic industry  related institutions.
  • The Establishment of Post-Graduate Professional College of Laboratory Science for training highly qualified specialists and Scientists.
  • The implementation of National Laboratory Policy Document.
  • The Establishment of Diagnostic Centres of Excellence for infections diseases.
  • The Establishment of International Accreditation and Allied institutions like Quality Assurance Scheme companies, Proficiency testing companies (ISO 151 89 etc.).
  • Reference Laboratory for referral testing in the sub-regions of Ghana.
  • Regents, Chemicals and medical laboratory consumables manufacturing companies.
  • Equipment and Laboratory devices manufacturing companies.
  • Logistics, supplies, and allied commercial business including biomedical engineering services companies.

Dr. Awinibuno told Africa Nakua’s Jerry Akornor that “achieving self-reliance requires injections of more investment into human capital development, building adequate healthcare infrastructure, facilities, expend local manufacturing of medical equipment to meet local and global needs”.

Dr. Awinibuno has also appealed to government to immediately give financial clearance for payment of recently graduated Medical laboratory Scientists on a housemanship to facilitate their operations”.

On his part, Deputy Health Minister Dr.  Bernard Okoe Boye, said government will “strengthen health workforce leadership, governance capacity, build human resource for health regulatory, and scale up education of health workers”.

Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye, Deputy Health Minister.

Contributing to the discussion, Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere  Darko-Mensah, says government will continue to intensify its role in providing the needed resources for healthcare delivery as it battles new and emerging diseases.

Meanwhile, Paramount Chief of Esikado Traditional Area in Western Region, His Royal Majesty Nana Kobina Nketsia V, in a speech read on his behalf by the Chairman of Council of Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mr. Ato Van-ESS wants the public to “continue to adhere strictly to COVID-19 protocols to compliment government’s containment measures”.

The 2020 Annual National Congress of Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists focuses on “Building a Self-Reliant Healthcare Industry Lessons from COVID-19 Era”.

GAMLS is of the view that a well-established and effectively regulated environment will attract investment into sectors medical laboratory industry.

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