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CMLF Lab Policy Framework to Influence Development of Barbados’ Policy

Laboratory Barbados National Reference LaboratoryThe Barbados Advocate newspaper reports that Barbados is developing a policy to guide the way in which laboratory services function.  This is according to Minister of Health, John Boyce, who delivered remarks at the National Laboratory Policy Consultation, held recently at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Mr Boyce said that a few days ago, stakeholders at another workshop discussed how important this is, given that not all laboratories will have the latest in technological equipment and the highest qualified and trained staff. 

“The recent workshop – sponsored and supported by CROSQ, PAHO and CARPHA— forms a good basis for a regulated and standardized laboratory service in the region, using a step-wise approach to licensing and accreditation. While it is recognized that not all laboratories will have modern technologies and highly skilled technical staff, there is the need for an agreement on core functions which will include strong management systems, health and safety, and quality assurance.

The Minster said that this policy would support the Framework that has already been conceptualized by the Caribbean Med Labs Foundation (CMLF).

“Experience has taught us that maintaining a functional and effective national health laboratory structure is a complex undertaking that requires the appropriate policy, training and regulatory framework. In line with this, the Caribbean Med Labs Foundation facilitated the development of a Regional Framework for National Laboratory Policy which was endorsed by the Chief Medical Officers of the region and the CARICOM Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD).”

The Barbados Minister of Health stated that this is the purpose of the consultation, which would help to identify the various roles that each stakeholder would play, among other areas. Chief among the deliverables of this policy are national standards and regulations for laboratory operations as well as active encouragement of evidence-informed decision-making and quality improvement. This policy when completed should be a comprehensive document that addresses all the critical areas for reliable laboratory services.” 

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CMLF News Issue #7
27th January 2016