In the last 2 decades allied health professionals have made their place in the medical world, many new fields have emerged due to their excessively increasing scope in international market. In Pakistan still a wave of war persists between medical and para-medical staff due to name game, though these professions have gained remarkable reputation in the western and middle-eastern countries.
BS Hons. MLT was started almost a decade ago in renowned medical institutes and universities of Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta. Medical lab technologists can work in government and federal sector as grade 16/17 professionals though they have only 2 to 3 seats in THQ and DHQ hospitals despite of huge workload. It’s solely government’s responsibility to acknowledge the credibility of allied health professionals by increasing their seats in government hospitals and raising their salary packages so that they can acquire their basic rights. They can work in public diagnostic laboratories, para-medical training institutes, non-government organizations, private clinics/hospitals, research/biotechnology laboratories and pharmaceutical companies. Medical lab technologists can open up their own laboratories and can practice as legal practitioners but due to strong external influences, lack of capital and awareness only a few graduates have managed to have their own setup in Pakistan.
Graduates of BS hons medical lab technology can pursue their post-graduation i.e. MS/PHD in clinical biochemistry, bio-informatics, immunohematology, histopathology, cytology, microbiology and public health. MS in public health is being offered by various universities in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar but MS in other fields is only available in Lahore and Islamabad with minimum number of seats which is certainly not in the vicinity of every student, due to lack of institutions offering post-graduate courses students are compelled to apply in foreign universities to continue their studies as a simple graduate suffers a lot in the field and has few chances to excel in professional career. It’s not possible for every student to go abroad either due to family reservations or due to excessive financial burden. Government needs to pay strong attention regarding this dilemma of our society in order to meet international standards.
BS hons medical lab technology will soon be converted to Doctor of medical lab technology as it has been upgraded in many other countries, It’s a noble degree having a bright future and multiple opportunities to excel, all we lack is a governing body and a wave of acceptance from medical professionals who strongly think that its merely their right to use the prefix Dr. prior to their name. What we all need to understand is that success lies in co-operative efforts and team work not in disputes and name game.
There are multiple universities in Germany, Australia, Canada, Sweden and America that offer post-graduation courses on partial and full scholarships; their entire detail is available on the sites of universities. Moreover students can work with foreign professors as research associates and research internees. In order to do clinical practice, license acquisition is necessary; there are various competency exams for above mentioned countries such as PCE for Canada, HCPC for UK and MOH for UAE and middle-eastern countries.
Success bows to them who keep strong faith in their dreams and never give up on their goals.