Guyana to host major health conference

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Oct 10, CMC – A one week conference examining ways to improve the Caribbean’s  accessibility, training as well as improvements in diagnostic and therapeutic laboratory testing techniques will get under way here later this month.
The October 23-27 Caribbean Association of Medical Technologist (CASMET) for Laboratory Professionals Affiliate of American Medical Technologist (AMT) Biennial General Meeting and Scientific Symposium will be held under the theme “Championing Quality Health Care behind the Scenes in the 21st Century”.
The organisers said that the meeting will provide an opportunity for medical laboratory professionals including medical technologists, phlebotomists and laboratory assistants to collaborate on issues of concern in their country and bring council members together to develop regional planning on how they can work with the government and other institutions to identify ways in which they can develop medical laboratory science.
Medical laboratory professionals will also have the opportunity to engage in Continued Medical Education (CME) sessions over a three day period which can allow them to gain as much as twenty five credits, the organiser added.
CME’s, create an avenue for participants to maintain competence and learn about new and developing areas in their discipline. In countries such as Trinidad, Bahamas and Jamaica, credits are a requirement for renewal of yearly licence for medical technologist to practice at health institutions.
Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence, speaking during a courtesy call by the president of the Caribbean Association of Medical Technologists, Harry Narine, and chairman of the Guyana Branch, Nolan Hawke, said she is pleased with the decision to stage the meetings here this year.
“I think the conference is coming up at an opportune time, we are happy to be hosting it in Guyana and so I wish you every success”, she said, adding that the Public Health Ministry is currently at crossroads where mechanisms that are used internally for procurement, human resource appointment and upgrading of staffs by training are being reviewed.
“This year we are going to be looking at a lot of legislation, making new changes, amendments so I will be very happy to hear from you and your team at the local branch here on what are some of the things you need to be addressed”, she said.
Narine explained that over the years, medical technologists throughout the Caribbean have struggled in getting health sector authorities to fully understand and recognise their vital role to towards health care. He said the Association has therefore created a platform which has allowed medical professionals in this discipline to promote the development of professionalism among clinical laboratory professionals within the Caribbean and function as a collaborative and advisory body to respective governments and teaching institutions.
“One of the things we have noted in the Caribbean is that medical technologist are always on the back burner, I don’t think they realise how important we are. Yes, they know the doctors, the nurses are important, but we need recognition, and not much is being given to us as medical technologist,’ Narine said.
Narine said the meetings here are expected to attract more than 150 delegates from the Caribbean and as far as China.
But he is also expressing concern at the inability of some Caribbean countries not being able to attend particularly as a result of the damage caused by the hurricanes that swept through the region last month severely damaging health and other infrastructure.
“That is the challenge we are having, with the impact of the storm and the hurricanes, we might be missing a few members. Even the suppliers are calling and asking if we are going to have a full turn out at the meeting”, Narine noted.

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