COIMBATORE: As many as 72 posts of Chief Laboratory Technicians (CLT) in labs of government medical colleges and other government hospitals are vacant despite a government move to fill them on a war footing in 2006.
At present, in all the hospitals there are only Grade-1 and Grade-2 lab technician posts available, and the long-pending demand to appoint Clinical Laboratory Technicians (CLT), to coordinate the activities in the lab has not been fulfilled so far.
It is also learned that the file in this regard has been pending with the Director of Medical Education (DME) for over six years, and things progressed to the point of making CLT appointments. But, the finance department had asked the then DME the reason as to why the posts have not been sanctioned and the benefits that the government would derive once the posts were sanctioned.
Since this query was left without an answer, the file has been gathering dust at the office of the DME.
In all hospitals, there is a nursing superintendent, Chief Pharmacist, Chief X-ray Technician and the like, to coordinate activities of the concerned departments. Hence, in the absence of a head to coordinate the activities in a laboratory, the deans of medical colleges look after lab activities.
“The deans of hospitals have to look after a lot of work, and it is impossible for them to handle the activities of the labs also," said a lab technician from the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH).
Laboratory technology is a branch of modern medical science which is essential for diagnostic, therapeutic and research purposes being manned by qualified technical personnel.
There are three sections at the laboratory here micro-biology, pathology and bio-chemistry. Every year, approximately lakhs of tests are done in every hospitals by these three departments. After all, a number of posts of lab technicians are lying vacant in all hospitals.
“In such a difficult situation, coordination is vital to ensure quality functioning. Who would ensure the reliability of tests done at laboratorys? Who would assign work for technicians? There is no one to take care, and laboratory technology has become a field un-monitored effectively by anybody," said another lab technician from the Madras Medical College.
When contacted, S Geetha Lakshmi, DME, claimed ignorance about these things, and said, “Let me take a look at the issue.”