Jamaica’s ability to tap into the medical-tourism sector has been significantly boosted under a multilateral arrangement signed recently between the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) and the Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation.
Through this agreement, JANAAC’s signatory scope with the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) will be extended to include Medical Laboratory Accreditation to the International Standardization Organization (ISO) 15189 standard.
This will promote the use and acceptance of accredited medical-testing data and results internationally, which will bring the country increased recognition in terms of quality and reliability of its facilities.
Chief executive officer of JANAAC, Sharonmae Shirley, said accredited medical laboratories in Jamaica are now able to compete with the best of such facilities worldwide.
“The bar has been raised. This augurs well for Jamaica. These labs must now raise their service standards in order to compete. This will result in improvements in data quality, data handling and more importantly, with customer care,” she said.
Shirley, who was speaking at an accreditation awards ceremony at the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce last week, said that having internationally accredited medical testing facilities is critical for the roll out of medical tourism as an important game changer in the tourism sector.
She said for Jamaica to benefit from the industry, it must provide a world-class health service that conforms to international standards and best practices.
“Medical decisions are based on the results obtained from our medical testing facilities. JANAAC’s medical lab accreditation will therefore empower both practitioners and patients alike,” Shirley said.
She urged the public to agitate for medical facilities in both the public and private sectors to seek accreditation.