JIS News

A four-day seminar aimed at training persons as assessors for the Jamaica National Agency of Accreditation (JANAAC), got underway on(September 17), at the Medallion Hall Hotel in Kingston.
Upon completion of the training, these assessors will carry out evaluation of public and private medical laboratories, to ensure that they conform to the ISO 15189 international standards.
In her message, read by Manager of the National Quality Infrastructure Project, Marguerite Domville, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Investment, Dr. Jean Dixon, noted that the use of international standards, such as the ISO 15189, played an important role in determining the acceptability of a country’s products and services, as well as its local and international trade pursuits. “Quality is the hallmark of acceptable products and services provided for trade in today’s world. This is so for each and every sector, industry or professional discipline of a country’s economy. The health care industry is no different from other industries in Jamaica, it must meet international standards,” Dr. Dixon said.
“One can readily appreciate that a management system in a medical laboratory, that includes the implementation of quality practices and principles as this, ensure the lab’s ability to produce accurate results. Such quality results are crucial to the determination of accurate diagnosis by practitioners of the health care industry. Therefore the use of internationally accepted standards such as ISO 15189 is necessary to meet international requirements,” she added.
Dr. Dixon noted that the Ministry was pleased to be associated with the seminar and encouraged the trainees to work hard and prepare themselves to become world class assessors.
For her part, Mrs. Domville stressed that the accreditation of medical laboratories was extremely important in today’s global market place.
“International sports organisations, international courts of justice and multi-lateral insurance companies choose accredited laboratories as their preferred customers, so daily, the demand for accreditation grows,” she said.
In her remarks, Director of Standards at the Ministry of Health, Joan Clarke said it was both in the public and the government’s best interest that clinical laboratories operate at high standards of professional and technical competence.
“It is in the interest of competent laboratories that their competence is verified through a process of inspection and comparison against appropriate standards as a confirmation of their good standing.
Adherence to high standards is an ethical responsibility of all clinical laboratory staff,” she said.
Miss Clarke noted that the National Public Health Laboratory and other public laboratories at the Cornwall Regional Hospital, St. Ann’s Bay Hospital and Mandeville Hospital would soon be ready to apply for ISO 15189 accreditation from JANAAC.
JANAAC is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Investment with responsibility for accrediting laboratories, inspection bodies and certification bodies.
Training is being provided by the Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment (SWEDAC).

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