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Patients lament financial strain in accessing lab services amidst MELPWU Strike

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Private laboratory facilities are cashing in as patients have to pay extra for lab services due to the strike by the Medical Laboratory Professional Workers Union (MELPWU), which is putting a strain on major public health facilities in the Ashanti Region.

Patients are lamenting the high prices of accessing laboratory services as the third day of the strike is witnessing exacerbating situations with patients raising alarm about the extra costs due to the strike.

Patients are calling on the government and stakeholders to listen to the plea of the Union to alleviate the challenges the strike is imposing on them for swift intervention.

A patient stated “The fees charged were too much so I had to go back to the doctor and told him that I couldn’t afford the labs directed, so he cancelled everything. What if I have a severe problem but now, I wouldn’t know because of the fee. So, I had to pay 900 cedis just for the lab.”

Meanwhile, private lab facilities like Ellolab are experiencing an increase in the number of clients as they serve as alternatives to medical laboratory facilities like Manhyia and Tafo Government hospitals, which remain shut.

The general manager of Ellolab, Ebenezer Wireko, in an interview with Channel One News, indicated that the strike is an opportunity for his facility and many other private lab facilities to make money, acknowledging that the charges at his facility are moderate.

“The strike on the public laboratory has a positive impact on us because we can see that the number of patients that we are receiving has increased due to the strike so as a private facility, the strike has really had a positive impact on us.”

The nationwide strike by the Medical Laboratory Professional Workers Union follows their demands for better conditions of service.

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