Laboratory scientists tell govt to stop privatizing healthcare services

September 19, 2022:- The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria has urged the Federal Government to drop the idea of privatizing healthcare services and instead focus efforts on improving delivery and enhancing the country’s health rating.

The body lamented that Nigeria had never met the 15 percent total funding for budgetary allocation to the health sector for health system support in line with the Abuja Declaration.

Accordingly, AMLSN harped on the need for the Federal Government “to improve the budgetary allocations to the health sector with special focus on laboratory infrastructure at the tertiary, secondary, and primary grades of healthcare practice.”

The body expressed in a communiqué signed by its National President, Prof. James Damen; National Secretary, Prof. Musa Muhibi; and National Publicity Secretary, Olusoji Billyrose, on Sunday at the ending of its 58th Annual Scientific Conference/Workshop occurred in Ado Ekiti with the theme, “Health System Strengthening: Sustaining Quality Medical Laboratory Practice Beyond the COVID-19 Era.”

AMLSN, while condemning the worrisome brain drain in the health sector on poor and toxic working environments and remuneration, called on the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure respect for professional lines and implementation of a scheme of service for every cadre by the medical directors and chief medical directors of tertiary institutions.

In the explanations read by their National President, Damen, the medical laboratory scientists also anointed the Federal Ministry of Health to enhance surveillance on Lassa, Marburg, monkeypox, and COVID-19 “as these still indicate significant health threats.”

As such, they anointed state governments “to build public health laboratories with capabilities for molecular testing that would help in the diagnosis and genetic surveillance of appearing and re-emerging diseases.”

They also anointed for government authorization for the sponsorship and training of medical laboratory scientists at the post-graduate and fellowship levels, expressing such aid would sharpen their skills for research and improve assistance.