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Moves taken to strengthen pathology and lab services

OTTAWA – Canada’s leaders in pathology and laboratory medicine have agreed to an action plan to enhance patient safety, high-quality healthcare and standards for pathology and laboratory medicine services.

The plan, which builds upon two years of extensive consultation and research, includes the creation of the Canadian Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Leadership Council. The council will develop and coordinate strategies and initiatives to strengthen the teaching of pathology and laboratory medicine, improve quality management in laboratories across the country, and support and enhance health human resource planning.

“Better standards, better coordination and better patient care are at the heart of our plan,” explained Dr. Andrew Padmos, CEO of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. “Canadians should remain confident that pathology and laboratory medicine services are strong and are continually improving.”

“At the end of the day, patients expect high-quality healthcare in a timely manner. That is why we are committed to working together to make real progress,” added Royal College President Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti.

Dr. Laurette Geldenhuys, President of the Canadian Association of Pathologists, said “pathologists and laboratory physicians play a vital role in the healthcare system; however, they must be better integrated into a patient’s care team because over 80 percent of medical decisions are based on the results of pathology and lab tests.”

Anticipated work of the Council will include increasing the number of pathologists and laboratory physicians; studying the links between workload and quality patient care and outcomes, improving continuous professional development and increasing the visibility of pathology and laboratory medicine as part of the medical education curriculum.

Members of the Council will include the following organizations: Accreditation Canada, Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, Association of Canadian Academic Healthcare Organizations, Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Sciences, Canadian Association of Pathologists and Provincial Pathology Associations, Canadian Association of Provincial Cancer Agencies, Canadian Healthcare Association, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Medical Protective Association, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, Canadian Patient Safety Institute, College of Family Physicians of Canada, Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

About the Royal College
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is a national, not-for-profit organization of more than 42,000 members in 87 countries. As the voice of specialty medicine, the Royal College contributes to improving the health of Canadians by setting the highest standards for specialty medical education. Dedicated to lifelong learning, the organization is a trusted partner in advancing sound health and public policy. To find out more, please visit

About the Canadian Association of Pathologists
The Canadian Association of Pathologists (Association canadienne des pathologistes), a voluntary professional organization advances the interests of its profession and promotes high quality standards for patient care by providing national leadership and promoting excellence in pathology and laboratory medicine practice, education and research.

Posted November 18, 2010