Health Minister Congratulates National Public Health Laboratory on Achieving Accreditation Status

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, congratulated the National Public Health Laboratory upon its recent award of accreditation status from the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC).

  • The National Public Health laboratory is the first Public Medical Lab to be accredited in Jamaica and the second Medical Laboratory accredited second only to Caledonia Medical.

Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, congratulated the National Public Health Laboratory upon its recent award of accreditation status from the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC).  This designation indicates that, as a testing laboratory, it now has international recognition for carrying out specific tests having passed rigorous inspections by an external assessment body.  The accreditation award was for four (4) of its departments, namely, Haematology, Clinical Chemistry, Emergency Laboratory and Specimen Reception and Accessioning.

“I want to congratulate the National Public Health Lab for this prestigious award as quality has always been the way of life at the institution and it is good that this is now officially recognized. Our clients can be assured that results obtained are compliant with international standards for technical competence and testing procedures as set out in the ISO 15189 Standard for Medical Laboratories. This is even more significant as World Accreditation Day is observed each year on June 9th,” Dr. Tufton said.

Accreditation status was achieved as a result of comprehensive and systematic preparation.  A Laboratory Quality Assurance Coordinator post was created, a quality management system was established, standard operating procedures developed for all processes, equipment and infrastructure upgraded, proficiency testing programmes developed, and staff trained and certified in various aspects of quality assurance and safety.  Performance indicators were monitored and feedback from clients evaluated in order to continually improve the service offered.

Over the years, the Lab has been participating in external internationally-based proficiency testing from accredited institutions which allow it to carry out tests of the highest quality standard.

The National Public Health Laboratory received assistance from agencies such as the U.S Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET), Crosq, the Pan American Health Organization  and strong support from the Ministry of Health. Other departments such as Core and Molecular Immunology, HIV and Microbiology are now in the final stages of preparation for their assessments to become accredited.

JANAAC is the only Accreditation Agency in the English Speaking Caribbean and has assessed Laboratories in Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.  Through its conformity assessment system, JANAAC has been able to identify and recognize institutions that meet and maintain International Standards and has accredited several non-medical and medical laboratories since its inception.

The National Public Health laboratory is the first Public Medical Lab to be accredited in Jamaica and the second Medical Laboratory accredited second only to Caledonia Medical.

World Accreditation Day, being observed on Thursday, June 9, 2016, is a global initiative, jointly established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation.