Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, has signalled his commitment to work to strengthen the capabilities of the National Public Health Laboratory.
“My task as Minister… is to help to facilitate your programmes and to recognise your work and your worth. You have in me as your Minister… one who recognises the need to strengthen your institution,” the Minister told staff on Feb. 21 prior to touring the facility located on Slipe Pen Road in Kingston.
Dr. Ferguson said the services undertaken at the lab are critical and commended the staff for their sterling work over the years. He noted that despite the challenges, they have remained steadfast in delivering quality service to the health sector.
“The role that you have been playing in keeping the healthcare delivery system going is remarkable. You are an indispensible part of the health team. The work you do silently in your labs, very few persons know of it,” he said.
In the meantime, Director, National Public Health Laboratory, Dr. Lundie Richards, said the facility will continue to focus on maximizing efficiency and will be implementing a quality management system to attain accreditation by 2013.
For her part, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization, (PAHO/WHO) Representative, Margareta Skold, stated that the work of the laboratory is critical in ensuring a quality healthcare system
“The development of the nationwide laboratory and blood transfusion system, which provides the communication, coordination and testing capacity required, is crucial to the future health and safety of our community,” she stated.
The National Public Health Laboratory is responsible for supplying the country’s health care facilities with safe, uninfected blood and blood-related products.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter