Health Ministry reviews laboratory policy for implementation

BY: Edward Acquah
Mr Hamidu Adakurugu, Director of General Administration, Ministry of Health, speaking at the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science (WAPCMLS) 2021 Annual General and Science Meeting. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo
Mr Hamidu Adakurugu, Director of General Administration, Ministry of Health, speaking at the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science (WAPCMLS) 2021 Annual General and Science Meeting. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo

The Ministry of Health has begun a review of the national health laboratory policy (NHLP) for implementation this year.

This is to ensure that proper standards are followed in the sector as demanded by medical laboratory scientists over the years.

The NHLP was drafted between 2010 and 2013 to, among others, provide a guide in the expansion of laboratory services to support healthcare programmes and also promote quality healthcare delivery in the country.

Commitment

In a speech read on his behalf at the 2021 annual general meeting of the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science (WAPCLMS) – Ghana Chapter in Accra last Saturday, the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, pledged the commitment of the government to the implementation of the policy.

“We are aware of your request which include the launch of the NHLP document for implementation and finding a suitable place for your secretariat,” he said.

According to the minister, “we are currently reviewing the NHLP and hope to get it launched for implementation before the end of this year”.

Mr Agyeman-Manu further assured the WAPCLMS that the ministry was working to secure a suitable place for its secretariat to enable the college to perform its duties well and expeditiously.

He also said that the ministry was considering the establishment of a postgraduate college for allied health professions to train more people in the sector.

According to the minister, his outfit recognised WAPCLMS as the technical arm of the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) responsible for medical laboratory science policies, practice and research, including serving as an advisory body to the government.

Mr Agyeman-Manu added that the ministry would support and collaborate with the college to develop and implement programmes for the health sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Call for unity

The Registrar of the WAPCLMS, Dr Godswill C. Okara, called for unity among professionals in the health sector to promote quality healthcare delivery to win the confidence of patients.

He said doctors and medical laboratory scientists should play complementary roles, saying “no profession is superior to the other”.

Dr Okara cautioned that failure on their part to collaborate in the discharge of their respective duties could undermine public trust thereby affecting quality of service to patients.

“Together, we can achieve more. That is what we need now more than ever in our region. The sky is big enough for all stars and we should, therefore, not feel threatened by the contribution of other members of the team,” he added.

For his part, the President of the WAPCLMS, Professor Nafiu Amidu, said there was the need for amicable solution to the long-standing impasse between medical laboratory scientists and doctors.

He encouraged medical laboratory scientists to make themselves available whenever they were asked to make input to demonstrate roles of laboratory scientists in the health delivery value chain.