New Partnerships Expand Access to Quality Health Care Around the Globe
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
ASCP is expanding its influence in Asia and South America to respond to a critical need to improve the delivery of patient care, while building awareness of the need for the medical laboratory profession.
This fall, the Society signed a letter of intent with KingMed, the largest independent laboratory in China, to provide educational products and assessments to its employees. KingMed has more than 5,000 employees, who provide medical laboratory services for more than 13,000 medical institutions throughout China.
“This is a milestone for ASCP. China has a population of more than 1.3 billion people. ASCP has an opportunity to help China improve its patient care and to work with a country with such an immense economy.”
—Dr. E. Blair Holladay, ASCP Executive Vice President
KingMed also has partnerships with more than 12 universities in education, research, and development, and it provides professional training for approximately 900,000 medical professionals each year.
“This is a milestone for ASCP,” says Dr. E. Blair Holladay, ASCP Executive Vice President. “China has a population of more than 1.3 billion people. ASCP has an opportunity to help China improve its patient care and to work with a country with such an immense economy.”
China has 20,000 pathologists and will need another 40,000 pathologists over the next five to 10 years. Similarly, China now has about 500,000 medical laboratory professionals and will need another 500,000 over the same time span. By comparison, the United States currently has 15,000 pathologists and about 500,000 laboratory professionals.
“KingMed would like support from ASCP to build a standardized educational system for its pathology residents, fellows, and practicing pathologists, and to provide international certification training for its laboratory professionals,” Dr. Holladay says.
Dr. Holladay joined Shiwen Song, MD, PhD, FASCP, ASCP Chief Science Officer, and Jennifer Young,
CT(ASCP)CM, Director, International Operations, as part of an ASCP delegation that was invited to visit the KingMed laboratories in Guangzhou, China, to talk with its senior leadership about developing a collaboration. Over the next few months, the two organizations will work to formalize the agreement.
Prior to the visit to China, Dr. Holladay was invited by the President of the Mongolian Association of Laboratory Medicine to speak on the appropriate utilization of laboratory testing. “It's important to understand that many parts of the world patients simply don't have access to testing,” Dr. Holladay says.
Meanwhile, ASCP is working to forge similar collaborations in South America. The Society has submitted a formal proposal to the Ecuadoran government recommending a procedure for implementation of ASCP international certification for all new graduates of the nation’s 12 medical laboratory professional programs. Ms. Young traveled to Ecuador this fall to present an education session on ASCP international certification to more than 150 attendees at a conference of medical laboratory professionals from throughout South America.
The Ecuadoran visit was immediately followed by a visit to Lima, Peru, where ASCP hosted a meeting of ASCP Board of Certification International Advisory Board chairs. The meeting was held in conjunction with the XXI Congreso Latinoamericano de Bioquimica Clinica, y Medicina de Laboratorio (COLABIOCLI) meeting in Lima in late October.
“It really is an exciting and pivotal time as ASCP forges new collaborations in China and South America to improve the quality of health care to patients around the globe.” says Ms. Young.