New Delhi, Mar 6: For sensitising small laboratories to basic doable quality practices, National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) launched another a voluntary scheme called Quality Assurance Scheme (QAS) for Basic Composite (BC) Medical Laboratories (Entry Level) in February.
The laboratories performing only basic routine tests like blood glucose, blood counts, rapid tests for common infections, liver an kidney function tests and routine tests of urine will be eligible to apply under this scheme, a statement said here.
To encourage small pathology laboratories, the base criterion of the scheme is based on the requirements enlisted in the May 18, 2018 gazette notification by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to amend Clinical Establishments (Central Government) Rules, 2012.
The scheme requires minimal documentation and a nominal fee has been prescribed for availing the scheme. Components of competence assessment have been added for assuring quality and validity of test results.
To familiarise and encourage more and more small labs, even in the remotest part of the country, to avail the scheme, NABL will organise awareness programmes in various cities. The scheme is expected to bring transformational change in more than 5,000 laboratories over the next five years and to transform them into labs providing quality service.
It will also give the much-needed support to Ayushmaan Bharat Yojana. Under the Yojana, the Government plans to set up 1,50,000 wellness centres covering over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families. This entry level scheme of NABL will, enhance the intent of Ayushmaan Bharat Yojana of universal access to quality healthcare for majority of citizens especially those residing in villages and small towns by providing them access to quality diagnostics.
Small laboratories who wish to achieve quality through QAS BC scheme could apply to NABL in application document NABL 155 available on NABL Website www.nabl-india.org
In addition to the existing accreditation scheme as per ISO 15189 standard, NABL also launched the ‘Recognition of Sample Collection Centers of Medical Testing Laboratories’ last year.
The objective is to assess all declared Sample Collection Centers and Facilities (SFCs) of Medical Testing laboratories. This will ensure end-to-end sample integrity leading to reliable test results and help laboratories to gain patient’s trust and satisfaction. The scheme has proved to be a success and about 1300 SCFs have been recognised by NABL since the launch of this scheme. (UNI)