The Cayman Islands hosted a biannual regional council meeting of the Caribbean Association of Medical Technologists for the first time last month.
The three-day session, held at the Marriott Beach Resort from 17-19 May, brought together more than 20 medical laboratory professionals, including medical technologists, phlebotomists and laboratory assistants, from Trinidad, Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia, Bahamas, the US and Cayman Islands.
The group discussed improvements in diagnostic and therapeutic laboratory testing techniques, training, regional professional collaboration and regulatory issues, as well as other developments that will positively impact standards in the region.
Speaking on the opening evening of the conference, Jennifer Ahearn, chief officer for the Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and Culture, told attendees: “Medical technologists are vital to the health sector, they increase the capacity of health care and are instrumental in healthcare development and patient care services, as well as in the broader-reaching, critical role of disease control.”
The association, an affiliate of the American Medical Technologists, is an independent, non-governmental association representing more than 1,500 medical laboratory professionals throughout the Caribbean, Central America and the Dutch Antilles.
These regional meetings provide an opportunity for medical laboratory professionals to collaborate on issues of concern in their country and bring council members together to develop regional planning and advice to educational institutions, funding agencies and government ministries on the development of medical laboratory science.
Commenting on the significance of the Cayman Islands membership in the organisation, local CASMET representative Marcia Robinson-Walters said: “We are cognizant of the fact that the ‘health’ of a nation is the ‘wealth’ of a nation, and therefore we aim to promote professionalism, as well as to develop and interchange technical knowledge.”