medical BLOG | DATE- 2022-07-04

How to open a Medical Laboratory|Updated 2022

A medical laboratory is a laboratory where tests are carried out on clinical specimens to obtain information about the health of a patient to aid in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

The Ethiopian standards agency provides minimum requirements for the establishment and maintenance of basic medical laboratory in order to protect the public interest by promoting the health, welfare, and safety of individuals which are described in this article.

A department head is assigned to each of the Basic medical laboratory and administrative departments. The responsibility of department heads includes at least the following:

What services are given by medical laboratory?

The following shall be range of tests to be performed in a Basic Medical Laboratory

a) Hematology

b) Clinical Chemistry

c) Urine and body fluid analysis

d) Parasitology

e) Bacteriological examination

f) Serological and other tests

General Requirements

Room requirements

The laboratory shall be located and designed to

Doors shall be located in places where entry and exit are easy and does not interfere with the laboratory benches or equipment and shall not be less than 1 m wide to allow easy access of equipment.

The following shall be minimum space for Basic Medical Laboratory;

Premises required

No of roomsrequired


Area required


Reception & waiting room


12sq. m


Specimen collection room


9 sq. m

Hematology room


9 sq. m

Clinical chemistry room


9 sq. m

Medical Microbiology rooms


16 sq. m

Serology room


6 sq. m

Parasitology, urine & body fluid analysis room


9 sq. m,

Disinfection Sterilization, and media preparation room


6sq. m

Recording and reporting room


4 sq. m

Store room


8 sq. m,

Staff room and office


9 sq. m

Toilets for patients (Separate, 1 for Male and 1 for




8 sq. m

Toilet with shower for staff (Separate for Male and




8 sq. m

Emergency shower



Professionals required

Basic medical laboratory shall be directed by a licensed medical laboratory technologist with five years of experience.

In summary, the laboratory shall have the following professionals

  1. Laboratory Technologist #2
  2. Full time quality control officer (Laboratory technologist) #1
  3. Laboratory technicians #2
  4. Supportive staff (clerk, cleaner)

All medical Laboratory professionals shall have an occupational health screening by a physician or other qualified health professional prior to entering active status and at least once every Five (5) years thereafter.

Each staff member shall receive ongoing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to maintain or advance his or her skills and knowledge.

The CPD shall be relevant to the setting in which they work as well as to the continuing advancement of the Basic medical laboratory.

(read our article on CPD using this link)

Equipments required

The following minimum equipments and consumables shall be available in basic medical laboratory.

The Medical laboratory shall have the following adequate supplies and equipment needed for infection prevention and control practice.

Waste management equipment and supplies

Instrument processing

Hand hygiene

Personal Protective Equipment

The Medical laboratory shall have the following equipment and supplies required for sanitation activities but not limited to:


This article is based on the guide published by the Ethiopian Standards Agency (ESA) 2020 edition.

For further information contact through the following address

Phone numbers: 011- 646 06 85, 011- 646 05 65, 011-646 08 80

Postal: 2310 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia



WRITTEN BY - Bezawit Girma-Med In Ethiopia Team

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WRITTEN BY - Bezawit Girma

Med In Ethiopia Team


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