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News in Brief | Agency wants more medical labs to get accredited

Published:Monday | June 13, 2016 | 12:00 AM

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.

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. 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".

Ewarton High to get special attention

Ewarton High School in St Catherine is to receive special attention from the education ministry to improve its academic performance.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Senator Ruel Reid said the school represents one of the cases that will have to be looked at "very carefully", due to the many students benefitting from the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH).

"This is a classic example of the new funding policy that we have articulated, where schools like these have to be identified by the ministry, and targeted with additional support, so they can raise their performance," said the minister, while on a tour of the school last Friday.

Reid, who also participated in the handing over of $1.5 million from Wisynco to the school, for winning the CranWATA School Spirit Competition, encouraged the students to take inspiration from that success in charting a vision for higher achievement.

He also commended the school for planning to invest a part of the money in a farming project.

"If we all are producing and operating at our full potential, Jamaica's full potential will be realised," the minister told the audience.

Gov't committed to Decent Work Agenda

Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson has said Jamaica is fully committed to the fundamental principles of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Decent Work Agenda.

She was addressing the 105th session of the International Labour Conference, in Geneva, Switzerland, last Wednesday. The conference, themed 'Building a Future with Decent Work', was held from May 30-June 10.

Decent work involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income; security in the workplace and social protection for families; better prospects for personal development and social integration; freedom for people to express their concerns, organise and participate in the decisions that affect their lives; and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men.