National Hospital and FMCs have not employed Medical Lab Scientists in the last 10 years- Dr. Ifeanyi

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Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) National Public Relations Officer, Dr. Casmir Ifeanyi, has said institutions such as the National Hospital Abuja and Federal Medical Centers have not employed Medical Laboratory Scientists in the last 10 years.

In an exclusive interview with PUNCH HealthWise, Dr. Ifeanyi said the Association became suspicious after years of job advertisements in such government-owned health facilities failed to produce a single Medical Lab Scientist.
His words:
“We will like the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, to probe why institutions such as the National Hospital, Abuja and FMCs have not employed medical lab scientists in the last 10 years.
“Yet, they advertise regularly for recruitment and deployment of physicians to take over the duty of laboratory scientists.
“The truth is that a large number of Nigerians are not informed about the goings-on in the health sector and why there is eroded confidence in the health institutions.”
However, in reaction, spokespersons of some of the hospitals said the AMLSN allegations are not true.
According to AMLSN’s Ifeanyi, there are some ‘clandestine activities’ going on in the health sector where certain people feel threatened around talks that health care must be evidenced-based.

“The only way they can remain relevant is to screen out people whose training and core competence would bring science into medicine and health care,” he added.

Ifeanyi said the reason the World Health Organisation inaugurated the Workload Indicators of Staffing Need was to help hospitals in the area of specialisation.
He further noted that with WISN tool, the number of medical lab scientists, doctors, pharmacists and nurses required in a health facility can be determined.

“Unfortunately, the managers of Federal Ministry of Health have not given full endorsement to the holistic deployment of the WHO tool in the recruitment processes of both tertiary and secondary healthcare facilities.

“For instance, where you have two doctors, about 10 nurses and a minimum of five medical lab scientists will be needed.
“Unfortunately, what obtains today is a situation where you have 10 doctors, no medical lab scientist and 23 nurses,” he alleged.
The AMLSN spokesman added that the situation contrasted sharply with global best practices where core clinical professionals like physicians, medical lab scientists, nurses and pharmacists are needed to run a hospital.
“The process is simple – see a doctor, go to the lab, get prescription and pay for drugs at the pharmacy.
“If the nature of your health condition requires admission, the nurses manage you. Shouldn’t that be the usual route?
“We all heard how one medical director of a Federal Medical Centre once told lawmakers at the National Assembly that maintenance engineer, carpenter and mechanic are part of core clinical service.
“It is shameful that a medical professional could say that to the hearing of all. That is what we are,” he lamented.
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