Quality is impossible to ignore when it is bad: Klemens

26 Sep 2015 15:50pm


The Namibia Association of Medical Laboratory Sciences (NAMLS) and the Southern African Development Community Accreditation Services (SADCAS), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to among others ensure easy access of information between medical laboratories and the two associations.

This follows negotiations during the third annual Medical Laboratory Summit here on Saturday. The summit deliberated on the safety, ethics and the role played by medical technologists in Namibia and their role towards medical laboratories and the medical profession in the country.

SADCAS Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Maureen Mutasa said apart from making provision for the easy access of information between medical laboratories it also aims to ensure quality medical laboratory deliverance and cooperation in the different areas of medical laboratory services.

She said the agreement is a conclusion of a five-month negotiation process which started in February 2015 and ended in July 2015. The agreement will safeguard the integrity and reputation of medical laboratories across the country.

NAMLS President, Dr Chris Hikuam noted that the agreement took into account that not many medical laboratories are accredited in Namibia. He said the agreement will also address challenges faced by laboratories, namely; finding affordable rates on Subsistence and Travel (S&T) allowances as well as flight costs incurred by medical laboratories going through the process of accreditation.

Currently, the annual accreditation fee for a medical laboratory is approximately N.dollars 32 792 (US.dollars 2 357), which includes assessment fees, S&T costs, application costs and site surveillance assessments. Hikuam added that the MoU will also look into providing incentives for medical laboratories to encourage accreditation.

NAMLS Vice-President, Johannes Klemens emphasised quality as an essential part of service delivery by medical technologists. He said despite the important role medical technologists play, the profession is invisible as technologists themselves do not emphasise their role to the public.

"Quality is invisible when it is good, however it is impossible to ignore when it is bad," he said.

The one-day summit was attended by representatives from medical laboratories across the country.