Court bars non-laboratory staff from conducting medical tests


Court bars non-laboratory staff from conducting medical tests

Non-laboratory staff will no longer be allowed to conduct tests that require high skilled medical laboratory.

This is after the High Court on Monday declared the policy in the Task Sharing Policy Guidelines 2017-2030 as unconstitutional.

Ministry of Health had come up with the guidelines that would have seen Non-laboratory staff conduct tests including pregnancy, interpretation of laboratory results, Antenatal care, malaria tests, Urinalysis among other tests.

“I find the consumer of the health services have constitutional right to products that protect their health, safety and economic interest and as such the Task Sharing Policy Guidelines 2017 -2030 infringe on the health and consumer rights of the citizens who are the actual consumers,” said Justice James Makau.

Justice Makau further issued a permanent injunction restraining the Ministry of Health from deliberating, developing or approving the task sharing policy guidelines without the public participation.

In the case, Association of Kenya Medical Laboratory Scientific Officers moved to court against Ministry of Health and the AG saying the policy puts into jeopardy the right of Kenyans to access the highest attainable health standards and it demoralizes trained medical laboratory who now feel discriminated against the guidelines.

The association further claimed that task sharing Policy Guidelines 2017-2030 were developed without meaningful and quantitative public participation, hence going against the National values and principles of government.

“The petitioner finds faults in the said policy guidelines in that they allow non-laboratory staff to conduct tests that require highly skilled laboratory staff,” argued the petitioners.

They argue that the guidelines are discriminative against its members of association, in allowing non-laboratory staff to conduct tests that require highly skilled laboratory staff and as such it denies them means of livelihood.

However, the Ministry of Health in their part argued that the guidelines have been developed through a wider consultation and collaborative process involving a broad number of institutions and various sectors in Kenya and abroad.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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