The medical laboratory facilities in the country have been advised to accredit their programmes in order to upscale their services and ensure accurate and reliable test results.
Dr Tosan Erhabor, Registrar, Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), gave the advice in a statement signed by Mrs Fidelia Ginikanwa, Head, Corporate Affairs Unit of the council, on Saturday in Abuja.
Erhabor, who spoke at the presentation of ISO 15189: 2012 certificate of accreditation to Lifebridge Medical Laboratory in Abuja,, said that accreditation was the hallmark of quality, not only in medical laboratories, but also in other systems.
According to him, such systems globally are now increasingly embracing accreditation.
“The time has come for every medical laboratory in the country to begin to benchmark international best practices through accreditation.
“Such has been instrumental to the accurate and reliable medical laboratory diagnosis that we seek abroad.
“If it is good for the citizens of other nations, it should be good for our citizens too,’’ he said.
According to him, in some countries, no medical laboratory facility is allowed to operate without accreditation.
“We should, however, separate accreditation from certification, as the former is voluntary and connotes that the facility has climbed the quality ladder.
“It has also conformed to stipulations of the Quality Management Systems (QMS), and those claims have been verified and validated by an external agency,’’ Erhabor said.
He said that the council was ready to support as many medical laboratories in the country that were willing to key into the accreditation process.
According to him, patients expect and deserve the accurate and reliable medical laboratory results.
He further said that accreditation would stem the efflux of citizens to other countries in search of such opportunities
“It does not make economic sense that on one hand, we bemoan the paucity of foreign exchange that has contributed to the downward spiral of the naira.
“Yet on the other hand we spend the little we have on medical tourism to other climes instead of upscaling our health systems,” he said.
Erhabor said that it was in keeping with his pledge to turn around fortunes of the health laboratory systems that the council had accredited 14 facilities in recent times.
He said that the Independent Advisory Committee, led by eminent scientist, Prof Oyewole Tomori, recently approved the accreditation of three new facilities whose assessment had been concluded by the council.
The registrar assured stakeholders in the sector that the council would not unnecessarily delay the accreditation of any facility that had met the criteria for accreditation.
“`We have, therefore, presented accreditation certificates to two of the three deserving facilities approved by the IAC.
“The first was the Lagos-based Afriglobal Medicare Ltd. and Lifebridge Medical Diagnostics Centre based in Abuja, while the third facility is underway,’’ Erhabor said. (NAN)