Can We Make Laboratory Test Free?


The most important aspect of quality health care delivery is laboratory (lab) test and so has to be affordable and available to all who visits our hospitals and clinics.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), before any doctor administers any drug or pronounces any ailment, the patient, must first be made to undergo lab test to ascertain what is exactly wrong with them, this is to avoid complications arising out of a wrong diagnosis.

In most well structured societies, the first point of call for every patient who visits a health facility, is the laboratory, in Ghana the lab becomes the last resort, sometimes after every possible remedy has failed.

Again in many jurisdictions, lab test is free, in Ghana; it is rather where patients spend more money.

Meanwhile, laboratory consumables are the cheapest in the cost build up in any hospital, apart from the equipment and machines that cost so much and last over years, the cost of other items are negligible.

It is about time, stakeholders in the health sector, especially the government, start looking at making lab test free.

With all the problems associated with the National Health Insurance, if lab test is free, the poor and destitute in society, can afford health care.

Surprisingly, most of the monies generated end up in private pockets, it does not go to enhance services at the hospital, but rather they still depend on the government for everything.

When machines that is used to run the test expires or breaks down, the monies generated is not used to replace the obsolete ones, until government steps in.

How much are the test tubes, blood and urine collection containers, these items don’t cost much, so why do we have to be charged exorbitant amount for lab test.

It is time we all rise up and speak against the charlatans at our hospitals and clinics, whose only motivation is money.

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