ABU DHABI, The UAE has adopted a mandatory regulation from February, according to which medical laboratories must apply for accreditation with accredited bodies, in an attempt to improve the healthcare system in the UAE according to the best international practices, and help patients make the right medical decision.

This will ensure the development of a unified system that ensures the efficiency of medical laboratories nationwide, according to ISO 15189.

The Board of Directors of the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology, ESMA, has approved the project, which will raise the confidence of public health, insurance companies, doctors and other relevant bodies in the country's healthcare system.

Abdullah Al Maeeni, Director-General of ESMA, confirmed that the latest development is in line with the government's Vision 2021 in a high-productivity knowledge economy while supporting sustainable development and enhancing the quality of life and its status as a global economic centre.

This important project was prepared by ESMA in the form of a technical list through the National Accrediting Department in an effort to launch the mandatory areas of accreditation in various sectors for conformity assessment activities in the period 2018-2021.

The department will play a federal role in overseeing the State's directives to promote medical tourism by ensuring that medical services are best served by international best practices. The proceeds of medical tourism are estimated in a study conducted three years ago, at nearly AED1 billion from some 300,000 tourists.

Dr. Rehab Faraj Al Ameri, Director of the National Accreditation Department at ESMA, explained that the technical requirements document that was issued for the accreditation of medical laboratories was prepared through a technical team in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council.

In accordance with the provisions of Article 11 and the Cabinet Decision 35 for the year 2015 concerning the UAE system for the control of conformity assessment bodies, the conformity assessment authority will be required to obtain accreditation in the event of its activities in the areas of compulsory accreditation determined by the authority, Al Ameri added.

Dr. Al Ameri said that all medical laboratories operating in the UAE are required to obtain accreditation for all examination services provided according to the standard ISO 15189 International, and requirements of the National Accreditation System.

Source: Emirates News Agency