OPINION: Medical Laboratory Science And The Travails Of An Indispensable Profession

By David Tiger

We have to ask ourselves what the problem really is in this profession and its public imagery lately.  We seem to have been overwhelmed by an epidemic of negligence. A great man once said, when you say “I am” then people would say in return “Thou art”; this can be further simplified as “it is the name you give your dog that people would call it also”.

Medical laboratory Science is being plunged deeper and deeper into a socio-political wilderness overwhelmed by marginalization by the various sectors and lately individuals.

Thus a profession that is endowed by virtue of our autonomous act of 2003 with limitless capabilities, has nevertheless become a caricature of harrowing relegation, marginalization, poverty and ‘downtroddeness’.

These myriads of misfortunes that has befallen the noble profession is further compounded by a complete loss of values in the doling out of accreditation to BMLS institutions and neglect for the welfare of the teeming unemployed in the profession.

The way and manner BMLS accreditation is being doled out to both State and Private universities calls for an alarm and imminent uproar. This recurrent practice has subsequently caused us more harm than good as it has literally made us become an object of ridicule in these above cited institutions.

You find a lot of these State and private institutions which ordinarily should never even be accredited to start an SLT program being given BMLS accreditation even when it is obvious to us that these people don’t have the human resources nor facilities to run the BMLS program.

 It is then a travesty and sheer hypocrisy that majority of us would rather chose to keep quiet over this than speak up and put our noble profession in the proper place along with her counterparts.

As it stands, it is obvious that things cannot remain like this for much longer or there will be cataclysm of the upcoming unemployed and even the employed young MLS practitioners.

It is high time our Council started utilizing her creative powers to operate our constitution and enforcing standards in the training and practice without giving room for these recurrent marginalization and maligning of ourselves and our professional bodies.

So what can we do to curb these excesses of the Universities, Hospitals and other training institutions?

1) I propose that the Registrar/C.E.O. which is the real driver of regulating our profession and the AMLSN NEOs, apply strength, power and discipline in operating our BMLS education vis-a-vis training.

You can’t make omelets without breaking eggs; We need the Council and AMLSN to show suppressed anger to eradicate corruption, indiscipline & maligning of our profession in our State & Private institutions with full/partial accreditation! We cannot rise up from the present quagmire without being confronted with some force; the enemies of our professional existence.

2) Our Council & Association must put her foot down and say “No more”, MLS is not a profession of derision, we can no longer take this maligning and marginalization caused by our nonchalance. For our general information, the MDCN-NMA, NCN-Nursing Society, & PCN-PSN do this without fears or favors even in highly placed institutions.

3) Our Council must commence unannounced visits to all our BMLS training institutions just as is done by the MDCN, NCN, PCN etc in a bid to curb the malfeasance and sharp practices of these various institutions thereby opening up more employment opportunities for us.

 Our negligence as a profession has made most of these training institutions conform to inadequate or poor laboratory postings for students, unscrupulous retrenchment of MLS Lecturers, non-replacement of MLS Lecturers who had left for greener pastures from these institutions despite their exponentially increasing student admissions. We cannot afford to wait any longer else the system implodes on us Sir’s & Ma’s, the time to act is now!

PS: This may seem churlish but it isn’t please, it’s a patriotic call on our Council & Association to look into some areas that we haven’t been paying cognisance to lately!

David Tiger is a concerned Medical Laboratory Practitioner

DISCLAIMER: The Opinion expressed are those of the author and not the blog.

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