Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC), Sharonmae Shirley, is calling for more local medical laboratories to become accredited.
“We want you as consumers to agitate so that your medical practitioners…will request medical tests from accredited laboratories,” she said.
Ms. Shirley was addressing the World Accreditation Day dinner and awards ceremony at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on June 9, where an accreditation certificate was presented to the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL).
The accreditation was for four of the NPHL’s departments – Haematology, Clinical Chemistry, Emergency Laboratory, and Specimen Reception and Accessioning.
With the certification, the NPHL becomes one of only two accredited medical labs in Jamaica and the only public sector facility. Caledonia Medical, which is a private lab, has also received the JANAAC seal of approval.
Ms. Shirley said the achievement by the NPHL is significant for the facility and Jamaica “because now we have a public laboratory that is accredited and we are proud of that fact.”
“It is very important for us in Jamaica as we venture into the area of medical tourism,” she added.
Director, National Laboratory Services, Dr. Angela Scott, said the accreditation of the NPHL is confirmation of the lab’s testing methods and procedures.
Located at 21 Slipe Pen Road in Kingston, the NPHL is the largest public lab in the island and the wider Caribbean.
It provides routine and specialised testing in several areas to hospital and health centre patients in the public sector and gives referral services to public and private labs.
JANNAC is the agency responsible for providing accreditation services to Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs), which include public and private sector laboratories, inspection and certification bodies.
Through its accreditation and training services, the agency plays a very important role in facilitating trade between Jamaica and its partners by helping to eliminate some technical barriers that have affected manufacturers and exporters for many years.
During the last fiscal year, JANAAC awarded six accreditation certificates, which was the most presented by the agency in any given year.
Two certificates were awarded to facilities in Guyana. JANAAC provides laboratory accreditation to the International Standardization Organization (ISO) 15189 standard.