- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Quality Assurance Scheme
What to study?
For Prelims and Mains: Key features and significance of the scheme and the need for quality assurance.
Context: NABL launches Quality Assurance Scheme for Basic Composite Medical Laboratories.
Key features of the scheme:
- It is a voluntary scheme.
- The laboratories performing only basic routine tests like blood glucose, blood counts, rapid tests for common infections, liver & kidney function tests and routine tests of urine will be eligible to apply under this scheme.
- 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.
- Successful laboratories will be issued a certificate of compliance to QAS BC scheme by NABL and they will be allowed to use a distinct symbol on the test reports as a mark of endorsement to the basic standard for a defined time frame before which they will have to transition to full accreditation as per ISO 15189.
- Through this scheme, patients availing services of small labs in primary health centers, community health centers, doctor’s clinic, standalone small labs, labs in small nursing homes will also have access to quality lab results.
Significance of the scheme:
The scheme will help to bring quality at the grass root level of India’s health system where laboratories follow the imperatives of quality in all their processes. This will inculcate the habit of quality and facilitate the laboratories to achieve benchmark accreditation of ISO 15189 over a period of time.
About National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL):
- NABL is a constituent board of Quality Council of India (QCI) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- NABL is Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) signatory to International bodies like International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC) and Asia Pacific Accreditation Co-operation (APAC) for accreditation of Testing including Medical and Calibration laboratories.
- NABL is also having APAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) for Proficiency Testing Provider (PTP) & Reference Materials Producers (RMP). MRA are based on evaluation by peer Accreditation Bodies and facilitates acceptance of test/ calibration results between countries which MRA partners represent.