By Lilian U. Okoro
The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), has appealed to the Federal Government to place medical laboratory science on the priority list of medical professions in Nigeria.
The Chairman of AMLSN, Lagos Chapter, Mr Olumide Fadipe, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
According to Fadipe, government was yet to recognise medical laboratory science as a distinct profession on its own.
He said that medical laboratory science should not be tied to another cadre of profession like pathology, which is a distinct profession too.
He said that in other countries, the medical lab science operates and stands on its own, but what obtains in Nigeria is that medical laboratory scientists report to the pathologists.
He described the situation as ”a big challenge” to the operations of medical laboratory science, as ”it degrades the profession”.
He also urged the federal government to include the medical laboratory science on the priority list of medical professions in Nigeria to accord it necessary recognition.
He said, ”In this country , the government is yet to recognise that medical laboratory science is a profession on its own.
”The medical laboratory has its own core area of specialisation, which is to carry out laboratory investigations on body specimens. The pathology profession too has its own area of job description.
”For medical laboratory science professionals that went to the institutions of learning and obtained the requisite professional trainings; and you still want them to be reporting to another cadre; it is not done anywhere in world, only in Nigeria.”
He noted that medical lab scientists were not supposed to be reporting to the pathologists but be allowed to operate and stand on their own.
He said, ”The truth is that the pathologists are encroaching on the job description of the med lab scientists.
”Yes, we can work together as medical practitioners, even in the same office in terms of administrative structure; so far each of the profession limits operation to its area of job description.
“But not that a pathologists will go into the lab to know how the tests are being conducted or try to make roster for the lab scientists. I’m sure there is no lab scientist that will tolerate that, anywhere in the world.”
Fadipe also appealed to the government to make the medical laboratory science profession attractive to the younger ones coming behind.
According to him, most of the younger laboratory scientists have moved to other countries to operate, in search of greener pastures.
”Let the medical laboratory scientists be given the proper recognition and encouragement. Most of us are still working with obsolete and old equipment.
”The import duty on medical equipment should be reduced or even scrap out.
”Let the government provide the lab scientists with the latest working equipment, adequate funding, good working environment and remuneration; these are some of the incentives that attract them to other countries,” he said. (NAN)