Lab Canada

Canada’s pathologists unveil action plan

Ottawa, ON – The Canadian Association of Pathologists (CAP) wrapped up its annual meeting in Ottawa today with the release of a five-point plan to ensure Canada has the highest quality laboratory services.

“Canada’s medical laboratory system is the foundation upon which good patient care, diagnosis and treatment rests,” said Dr Jagdish Butany. “Canada’s pathologists and laboratory technologists work hard to deliver critical, time-sensitive information and this new action plan will give them the support they need.”

The CAP five-point plan calls for:

– mandatory certification for each prognostic and predictive test performed by a medical laboratory;

– an external validation system where test results from one laboratory would be verified by another, independent external, laboratory;

– dissemination and use of the Canadian National Checklist for diagnostic immunohistochemistry. The checklist is a robust quality assurance system for laboratories that includes test validation, staff training and competency assessment, standardization of operating procedures and equipment maintenance;

– creation of a national body, separate from government, to accredit all medical laboratories in Canada and ensure they meet quality and critical mass standards; and

– immediate and ongoing support from federal, provincial and territorial governments to address the critical workforce and resource shortages undermining laboratory medicine.

“What we are proposing is the creation of an appropriately resourced national system to promote excellence in the laboratory medicine in Canada,” added Dr Butany. “The plan is ready, we now look to our political leaders to step forward with the support needed to get it up and running.”

Over the course of the CAP meeting, over 300 pathologists from across the country gathered to discuss issues facing laboratory medicine in Canada and internationally.