Various speakers underlined the importance and role of laboratory technicians in health delivery and compared their services with that of doctors and experts.

Under the auspices of the Tamil Nadu Government Laboratory Technicians' Association, a week-long event was inaugurated at the Government Rajaji Hospital here on Monday.

Speaking on the occasion, the Head, Department of Anaesthesia, GRH, I. Chandrasekar, said that laboratory technicians had so much responsibility that only based on their reports doctors initiated treatment for patients. Right from the admission stage, the progress of patients in hospitals was monitored on the inference arrived at from the reports of the lab technicians.

There was an ever-growing demand for lab technicians and successful students would get into jobs immediately on completion of their course, he added.

The association's state general secretary, G. Sugumar, in his address urged the State government to fill posts of laboratory technicians lying vacant immediately.

Though an eight-hour work was internationally accepted, lab technicians worked for over 12 hours in many cities. At a time when there was need for quality of lab technicians and good infrastructural facilities at their work spot, fatigue might dilute quality or result in interruption of service. Hence, considering larger public interest, the government should fill all the prevailing vacancies, which accounted for nearly 10,000 posts in various categories.

He further said that state-of-the-art machines at laboratories could not fully replace manpower in hospitals. For uninterrupted service, the number of trained technicians should be increased. Mr. Sugumar also suggested refresher courses for lab technicians every year.

Offering felicitations, Centre for Research in Medical Entomology Director B.K. Tyagi said that in the changing technological scenario, laboratory technicians should keep themselves abreast of the latest developments taking place in their fields.

Madurai Medical College Dean A. Karthikeyan and office-bearers from Tamil Nadu government associations spoke.

Earlier, Madurai district laboratory technicians' association president J. Arputharajan welcomed. State president G. Paneerselvam presided.

The association has planned to conduct blood donation camp, diabetes camp, exhibition on latest medical equipments and demonstration programmes on laboratory diagnosis of malaria, among others, during the week-long programme.

Keywords: Medical support

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