27/07/2015 16:26 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Ministry of Health plans new hi-tech medical labs

HCM City, July 27 (VNA) - The Ministry of Health has proposed building 40 reference high-tech laboratories in the country, in an aim to improve capacity of medical testing and ensure quality.

At a conference on medical testing held last week, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen said the laboratories would be national reference labs for hematology, biochemistry, and clinical microbiology.

The ministry plans to submit its proposal to the Prime Minister.

The country now has 46 medical laboratories with an international standard of ISO 1589, Xuyen said.

Three national centres for standardising and controlling the quality of labs at hospitals are located in Hanoi and at the HCM City University of Medicine and Pharmacy.

The number of labs in the city and southern provinces receiving external quality assessment from the centre rose to 1,093 last year from 50 in 2007, according to Dr Tran Huu Tam, Head of the Centre for Standardisation and Quality Control in Medical Laboratories of HCM City.

Through such external quality assessment, the rate of errors in testing has fallen. For example, the rate in hematology errors had fallen to 8.9 percent (2013) from 18.4 percent (2008).

"The drop in errors was the result of the centre providing counselling and training to staff at the labs," Tam said, adding that the centre has standardised curricula for training.

The city Department of Health and the centre have compiled a handbook on testing quality management, which has been delivered to 941 health facilities in provinces and cities, he said.

Dr Luong Ngoc Khue, Head of the central government's Department of Medical Examination and Treatment, said the number of tests at hospitals had increased year-by-year by 10 percent since 2011.