Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), Dolsie Allen, is cautioning the public against seeking coronavirus (COVID-19) testing from unauthorised entities.
“We are appealing to consumers, don’t support entities that are offering services that are not authorised. These are labs that have not been accredited. At the end of the day, you are the ones that are going to suffer, so we are appealing to you, do not support this illegal trade,” she said.
Mrs. Allen was speaking during a virtual press briefing on accreditation of private laboratories providing COVID-19 testing, hosted by the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, in association with the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC), on Thursday (January 21).
Due to the demand for increased COVID-19 testing services, the Ministry of Health & Wellness has reported the emergence of unauthorised, makeshift facilities and laboratories for COVID-19 testing.
To formalise this burgeoning industry, the Ministry of Health & Wellness, in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, will be partnering with the JANAAC to provide accreditation of private testing facilities to ensure quality assurance of these entities.
Mrs. Allen urged Jamaicans to utilise only those facilities that are approved by the Ministry of Health & Wellness.
“Support the Government while we try to support you, so that we can all thrive together. We are appealing to consumers to utilise the facilities that have been provided or accredited by our Government,” the CAC head implored.
Reminding consumers to exercise their power of choice wisely, Mrs. Allen said the Commission will be publishing the costs for the COVID-19 tests for accredited testing facilities when this information is made available.
“We will publish the prices so that persons will know exactly where to go and what are the costs involved. We will undertake to do that as soon as the market opens,” Mrs. Allen informed.
“This is to let consumers know that you have choices. Exercise your choices responsibly, because at the end of the day, you cannot compromise your health,” she added.
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The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce is described as Jamaica's "Business Ministry." It's mandate is to lead the development of policies that will create growth and jobs, while achieving social inclusion and consumer protection. The Ministry, working its stakeholders is primarily responsible for business policy development, monitoring and evaluation, while giving direction and oversight to a cluster of implementing departments and agencies.
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