Frustrated with the long working hours, no overtime and a paltry risk allowance, several Medical Technologists attached to the National Reference Laboratory are threatening to down tools if their concerns are not addressed soon.
The National Reference Laboratory is the main testing site for coronavirus in Guyana. It is located at the Georgetown Hospital.
In recent weeks, with increased samples being taken, the medical technologists have found themselves working longer than expected hours with no overtime.
Some of the Med Techs reached out to News Source today and speaking on the condition of anonymity, they explained that they are now working 24hrs in various shifts, but no overtime has been offered to them.
“Sometimes we come in at 8 o’clock in the morning and we do not leave until after 6 in the night as one shift and there is absolutely no overtime being paid”, one of the Medical Technologists told News Source.
It was further explained that after they raised their concerns with the Ministry of Health, they were offered $5000 per month as a risk allowance and they believe that is simply not good enough.
They said they are being asked to work additional hours with the same salary and a very small risk allowance.
There are about 35 Medical Technologists working at the National Reference Laboratory. They are hoping to meet with the Minister of Health or other senior Government officials to listen to their concerns and have the concerns addressed.
“The impression we are being given is that we must do this and we must do that and its almost as if we do not have a choice but to continue working under the current circumstances and that’s not good enough”, one of the Med Techs complained.
In the past seven weeks, Guyana has increased the volume of testing for COVID-19. There was a recent backlog of incomplete tests but that has been reduced.