Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science urges governments across Canada to protect patient safety and restore public confidence in medical laboratory testing



    HAMILTON, ON, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - In anticipation of the release of the
report of the Commission of Inquiry on Hormone Receptor Testing, the Canadian
Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) is urging provincial and
federal governments to implement measures to protect patient safety and
restore public confidence in medical laboratory testing in Canada.

    
    -  Professional regulation of medical laboratory technologists:

       Medical laboratory technologists are a regulated health profession in
       Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and
       Nova Scotia. CSMLS strongly urges professional regulation of MLTs in
       Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island and
       the Territories, and regulation of medical laboratory assistants
       across Canada.

       Establishment of a regulatory body will help ensure that medical
       laboratory technologists (MLTs) are competent to practise safely and
       effectively. All provinces, with the exception of Quebec, require
       CSMLS certification as the entry level credential for MLTs. CSMLS
       provides a single, national standard for certification of medical
       laboratory technologists and medical laboratory assistants.

    -  Mandatory external accreditation of medical laboratories:

       CSMLS urges the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to move
       quickly to implement mandatory external accreditation of medical
       laboratories based on the internationally accepted standard, ISO
       15189. The accreditation process must be accountable to the provincial
       government for review and oversight, and funded appropriately. The
       governments of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and
       the Territories should also implement mandatory external accreditation
       of medical laboratories.

    -  Adequate resources for medical laboratory services:

       Testimony at the Cameron inquiry demonstrated the negative impact of
       staffing shortages, corporate restructuring and budget cutbacks on
       laboratory services at Eastern Health. CSMLS urges provincial and
       federal governments to ensure that there is adequate funding for
       medical laboratory services in Canada. This funding should include
       support for continuing education and for recruitment and retention of
       qualified medical laboratory professionals.
    

    "We are also deeply concerned that the new labour mobility provisions of
the Agreement on Internal Trade signed by provincial premiers in 2008 will
erode the national standard of certification for medical laboratory
technologists in Canada," says CSMLS Executive Director, Kurt Davis. "Up to 85
per cent of decisions about diagnosis and treatment are based on laboratory
test results. We believe that the people of Canada have a right to expect that
the people who conduct their tests are certified as being qualified and
competent to practise safely and effectively."

    Mr. Davis will respond to the recommendations of the Cameron Report at a
news conference on Monday, March 2, 3:30 p.m. in the Placentia Bay Room at the
Delta St. John's Hotel and Conference Centre. Also present at the news
conference will be Curtis Martin, President of the Newfoundland and Labrador
Society of Laboratory Technologists.

    CSMLS is the national certifying body for medical laboratory
technologists and medical laboratory assistants and the national professional
society for Canada's medical laboratory professionals. The Society has over
14,000 members.





For further information:

For further information: Kurt Davis, Executive Director, Cell: (289)
440-2361, Email: kurtd@csmls.org; Peter Reesor, Cell: (905) 512-9655, Email:
preesor@cogeco.ca; Alison McLennan, Director, Communication, Office Telephone:
(905) 528-8642 ext. 15, Cell: (289) 440-2363, Email: alison@csmls.org

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Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science

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