The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, (AMLSN) has traced the high rate of misdiagnosis in public and private hospitals to government’s failure to do the needful by recognising the profession and according it its rightful place in policy and planning.
The National President of the body, Dr. Bassey Enya Bassey at the public presentation of new national executive officers of the body in Abuja, said government had a low opinion of medical laboratory science in the management of health, saying even when it recognised its importance, it has been paying lip service and never committed itself to its recommendation.
Bassey said, “The laboratory is the only organ in health care that can notify you of an outbreak of any disease in the world. But, if you look at the position of laboratory in Nigeria, do we have something that is desirable for it? The answer is no.
“Now, look at the Federal Ministry of Health. What is the structure of laboratory in the ministry?
‘’The Office of the Head of Service has since 2001 moved for the establishment of the Department of Medical Laboratory Services in the Federal Ministry of Health. Till today, that department has never been established.
“That translates to the fact that in the Federal Ministry of Health, there is no foundation for laboratory services. And, if there is no foundation for it, ab-initio, we have planned to fail. We are going to see more cases of misdiagnosis because the foundation is supposed to provide a structure for its professionals at in ministry.
“We have cases of misdiagnosis that are planned for. We have seen a lot of disease outbreaks, which the system cannot contain. So, laboratories outside Nigeria come in to contain the system, whereas we have the capacity in terms of personnel, resources and infrastructure.
‘’But, deliberately, the Federal Ministry of Health has failed to put all these things in place. That will translate to the fact that we have planned that the laboratory system in Nigeria should not work.”