The first international conference on medical laboratory accreditation entitled „1ST CONFERENCE ON MEDICAL LABORATORY ACCREDITATION AND QUALITY SYSTEMS: EUROPEAN ANSWERS“(CLAQ) organised by The Clinical Centre Of Serbia - Center for Medical Biochemistry and the Accreditation Body of Serbia (ATS) was held on 20th and 21st April 2017 in Belgrade.
The conference was held under the auspices of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC), The European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM) and the European Society of Pharmacogenomics and Personalised Therapy (ESPT), the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia (RS), the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of RS, the Ministry of Economy of RS and Chamber of Commerce of Serbia. On behalf of the Ministry of Economy, the conference was opened by Jovan Petrović, Acting Assistant Minister for Sector for quality and product safety.
He pointed out that accreditation is only one of the essential components of quality infrastructure in the Republic of Serbia which the Ministry of Economy has been intensively developing for the past 10 years. "The Accreditation Body of Serbia has been a full member of the European Accreditation since 2014 which allows our economy to have all tests performed in our accredited laboratories to be recognized in the EU as well. Owing to this membership, testing costs have been significantly reduced, the competitiveness of our products has been increased and our accredited bodies have become leaders in the region," said Petrović.
According to him, so far, we have over 530 accreditations, out of which over 300 accredited laboratories in accordance with ISO / IEC17025, 13 medical laboratories in accordance with ISO 15189, over 150 inspecting and certification bodies and 55 calibration laboratories.
The Ministry of Economy, as the main negotiator with the EU within the Ch. 1 - Free movement of goods, completely conformed its regulations with the European Union. This chapter covers most non-food industrial products. Petrović emphasised successful cooperation we have with the Ministry of Health in transposing EU directives relating to medicinal products within the Ch.1.
On behalf of the Accreditation Body of Serbia, participants of the event were greeted by Prof. Aco Janićijević, PhD, Acting Director of ATS. In his speech, he pointed out the importance of accreditation in the field of medicine and medical laboratories. He particularly emphasized the significance that ATS has in establishing and continuous maintenance of accreditation system, as well as the importance that accreditation has for the economy, businesses and citizens of Serbia. He also pointed out that the full membership of ATS in the European Cooperation for Accreditation (EA), the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) as well as the fact that ATS is a signatory to international multilateral agreements on recognition of accreditation systems (EA MLA, ILAC MRA and IAF MLA), speaks about the achieved equality and the reliability of certificates of conformity issued by accredited conformity assessment bodies from Serbia in Europe and all around the world.
Prof. Aco Janićijević, PhD, Acting Director of ATS
The conference was attended by experts in the field of laboratory medicine, employees in hospitals and private laboratories, engineers and technicians, as well as the participants involved in quality management and accreditation of medical laboratories, employees of ATS and ATS assessors. The conference provided an opportunity for participants from Serbia and Southeast Europe to share their experiences with experts in the field (the members of the Working Group on Health Care of the Laboratory Committee of the European Cooperation for Accreditation (EA LC WG Health Care)), as well as prominent experts in the medical laboratories of Europe and region (France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom) and to educate themselves in the area of accreditation.
During the two days of the conference there were discussions about the practical aspects of implementation of ISO 15189 standards, benefits, critical points, the uniform application of the concept of accreditation, as well as the importance of accreditation of medical laboratories. On the second day of the conference representatives of the Balkan countries (Albania, Macedonia, Romania, Greece, Serbia and Turkey) presented their achievements in the process of laboratory accreditation. There were also talks about the laboratory accreditation in accordance with ISO 22870 (point of care testing), related to the diagnosis at the bedside of the patient (point of care).
Ljubinka Gligić, PhD, Advisor to the Director, presented experiences of ATS in accreditation of medical laboratories
Owing to excellent organisation of the conference, which Prof. Sanja Stanković, PhD, Director of the Conference and Director of the Center for Medical Biochemistry, Clinical Center of Serbia, was responsible for, but also as a result of interest shown by participants, who confirmed the success of the Conference, it will be held next year.
Prof. Sanja Stanković,PhD, Director of the conference and Director of the Center for Medical Biochemistry