Acting Minister of Health, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner,??delivering the feature address at the Regional Council Meeting of the Caribbean Association of Medical Technologist at the Blue Horizon Hotel, Rockley, Christ Church. (G.Brewster/BGIS)

Government will continue to work closely with Medical Technologists in an effort to create conditions that will improve the health care system.

Acting Minister of Health, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, stated this today, while delivering the feature address at the Regional Council Meeting of the Caribbean Association of Medical Technologists (CASMET) at the Blue Horizon Hotel, Rockley, Christ Church.??

She said the role Medical Technologists played in the development of the economy and in the protection of Barbadians’ health was a critical one, adding that despite limited resources, the Ministry of Health continued to work with the Barbados branch of CASMET.

"The provision of quality health care services requires a diverse range of well qualified, well trained health professionals who work together to ensure the health and well-being of the population. Indeed, the health team approach is one of the strengths of our system of health care delivery.??

"As a significant step in strengthening the Barbados National Public Health Laboratory system, a Laboratory Restructuring Task Force was appointed by the Ministry of Health. Approximately three years ago, this group of laboratory scientists and other relevant health care professionals developed a national amalgamation plan for the public health laboratory system. The objectives of this strategic plan are to reorganise and strengthen: the administrative and technical management structures of the national laboratory system; the provision of standardised quality laboratory services throughout Barbados; laboratory support systems; laboratory quality assurance; human capacity development; and monitoring, evaluation and research," Senator Sandiford-Garner outlined.

Laboratory safety, she pointed out, was essential, and to ensure the health and safety of workers and patients, the Ministry had implemented a Pathological Laboratory Committee to ensure compliance with regulations.

She underlined the importance of high quality laboratory services for maintaining and improving the standard of health care, adding that the Regional Council Meeting provided an opportunity for Medical Technologists to share their best practices.

The Acting Health Minister also noted that higher survival rates for cancer patients and a dramatic decline in death rates from cardio-vascular disease had been the direct result of innovative products conceived, developed and commercialised by the "med-tech" industry.

She said health care was one of the fastest growing industries in the world and people were demanding modern health care.

"…And we have Medical Technologists to thank for much of the treatments that improve public health while creating high paying jobs. As we are all aware, populations around the world are ageing.?? By 2018, persons 65 years-old will outnumber those under age five – a historic first.?? The elderly will increasingly look to your medical technologies to ensure a healthy and longer future for their families and themselves," Sandiford-Garner said.


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