Lab technicians demand paramedical council

Expressing qualms over several underqualified persons being appointed as lab technicians across the state, lab technicians will submit a memorandum to the Health and Family Welfare Minister Shivanand Patil soon regarding the establishment of a paramedical council.

At present, there is no mechanism to check whether the lab technicians working in labs are qualified or not. Members of the Karnataka Rajya Medical Lab Technologists Association said that with this loophole, several private labs have been recruiting underqualified people and providing them with the training to conduct various tests.

The members of the said association had earlier approached the then Health minister K R Ramesh Kumar in this regard but to no effect.

Manjunath Sringeri, president, Karnataka Rajya Medical Lab Technologists Association, said that this is certainly posing a threat of improper diagnosis.

"Technical diploma in lab technician course is mandatory for the job. We now see many who have just passed Class X or XII work as technologists. They are trained on the job," Sringeri said.

Citing an example, he said that in case of a pregnancy test, a trained technologist would know the time frame within which the results are to be noted. Even a matter of minutes could alter results. "On the job training will not teach as much," he added.

He further said that they (unqualified/underqualified) are prefered to the qualified ones as they agree to work for below par salaries. "We ask for salaries ranging between Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000. The others join for just Rs 5,000. Our job opportunities will also take a beating," he added that five states in the country already had it on lines of the medical council.

Health cards

The association will also offer cards to the members and their families. With this, they can avail discounts for diagnostics, Sringeri said.

The association will hold the 5th Conference of Karnataka State Medical Lab Technologists on May 5 between 8.30 am and 2.30 pm. The event will see the participation of technologists from across the state discuss the issues that concern them.

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