Chief Executive Officer, Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC), Sharonmae Shirley, speaks at a JIS ‘Think Tank’.
Applications are being invited from private entities interested in conducting coronavirus (COVID-19) tests to participate in the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation’s Pre-Approval Accreditation Programme (JANAAC PAAP).
Target groups include private laboratories and point of care testing facilities (doctors’ offices, health centres, pharmacies).
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JANAAC, Sharonmae Shirley, said that the pre-approval programme aims to fast-track the accreditation of entities desirous of providing COVID-19 tests.
She noted that the facility is part of the Government of Jamaica’s strategic response to the pandemic.
“The main goal of the JANAAC PAAP is to increase stakeholder confidence in Jamaica’s COVID-19 testing capacity, assuring sustained quality health outcomes and to strengthen the national COVID-19 prevention and containment strategies,” she said.
Mrs. Shirley was addressing a virtual press briefing on the accreditation of private laboratories providing COVID-19 testing, hosted by the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce in association with JANAAC on Thursday (January 21),
The move comes in the wake of recent requirements by the United Kingdom (JK), the United States (US) and Canada that travellers must have a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter their jurisdictions. This has led to increased demand for testing for the virus locally.
Noting that the international standards that govern medical and testing laboratories are “lengthy”, Mrs. Shirley said in the first instance, the JANAAC PAAP will fast-track the accreditation process so that entities are required to meet 12 minimum requirements.
“We are opening this up for anyone, who has a business interest, but we are saying that you must meet these 12 minimum requirements. When you meet these minimum requirements, what we are going to require of you is that over time, you will transition into the full accreditation programme where you will meet the full requirements of the standard and be fully accredited,” she explained.
Mrs. Shirley emphasised the importance of accreditation in order to ensure that private testing facilities meet the requisite technical standards for quality assurance.
“Right now, if we can assure that the entities are legal, have competent staff and the requisite facilities and reagents, that they can safeguard the quality of the equipment used to conduct tests and they can put reporting mechanisms in place, that will assure the quality (and consistency) of the results coming out of these facilities. This, we believe, will safeguard the entire process,” she outlined.
Support for applicants is being provided through the national accreditation focal point at the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ).
Welcome to the official website of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.
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.
We have, therefore, placed much energy and enthusiasm into the development of this website to provide timely information on the Ministry, our agencies and programmes.