Accra, Sept. 9, GNA - A committee that investigated the grievances of students of the School of Medical Laboratory Technology has recommended that the Ministry of Health should hand over the operation of the School to the Allied Health Science, University of Ghana.
The five-member committee, which represented their report to government on Thursday, explained that the School of Allied Health had successfully upgraded a Diploma Programme, which was run by the University of Ghana Medical School, to a Degree Programme and that it had the "capacity and resources to run Diploma courses."
The Committee said in order not to compound the problem of dealing with large numbers of students whose fate is not certain, and also to allow the School of Allied Health Science to use their own selection criteria, new students' intake should be suspended.
The Committee said negotiations with the School of Allied Health Sciences for the take-over of the School of Medical Laboratory Technology must start immediately to allay the fears of the students. Students of the School of Laboratory Technology have for nearly two years been agitating for the accreditation for the award of Diploma in Laboratory Technology and their designation as Technologist after graduation.
The School introduced a Diploma awarding programme two years ago, but the two batches of students, who undertook this programme were not awarded Diploma certificates, and their position within the Ministry of Health remains uncertain.
Dr Kwasi Poku Nimo, Chairman of the Committee, said they also recommended a "topping-up programme" for the two batches of students who had graduated and those students should be "employed and remunerated as Diplomates".
Dr Nimo suggested that, while the take-over was being sought, a three-man committee should be appointed to supervise the running of the School.
"The composition of this committee should include Dean of the School of Allied Health Science as Chairman, a Pathologist and a Laboratory Technologist," he said.
Dr Nimo said another problem of the school, which needed to be addressed, was student accommodation.
He said situation in the schools hostels were so deplorable that the hostel block was called "Tropics, because of its ability to breed mosquitoes". "Student accommodations urgently need renovation and the authorities need to fence the building to prevent squatters from staying in student hostels."
The report said in line with the take-over, the Ministry of Health auditors should audit the School's accounts, including the revenues collected from the Haematology Reference Laboratory within the school premises, which performs some laboratory tests and charges fees. Mr Moses Dani Baah, Deputy Minister of Health, who received the report on behalf of government, noted that without laboratory technologists, health officials could not effectively carry out their duties.
"Doctors diagnose patients, but the laboratory technologist carry out tests to confirm the diagnoses," he said.
This, he said, required that would-be laboratory technologist be given standard training to complement the work of his colleagues within the health sector.
Mr Dani Baah assured the committee that government take appropriate measures to address the problems of the school within the shortest possible time.
Mr Kingsley Kayan, Past President of the Students Representative Council expressed satisfaction with the committee's report and appealed to government to implement the recommendations made in the report. The Executive Summary said Laboratory Training School, which started in 1946 as a certificate awarding institution, converted into a Diploma awarding institution give years ago.
The school has been experiencing some problems between its Administration, the Ministry of Health and the student body over the past two years.
This is because adequate preparations were not made for proper accreditation for the award of Diploma in Laboratory Technology and the designation of graduates as Technologists after qualification. 09 Sept. 04