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Laboratory privatisation proposal a return to 90s


“Laboratory privatisation proposal a national signal for future direction of public hospitals; return to the 1990s?”

“The Government’s response to the recommendation from the Otago and Southland district health boards to privatise their hospital laboratories will be a signal to the rest of the country about the future direction of public hospitals,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“If the Health Minister approves this short-sighted and flawed proposal from health bureaucrats then it will be giving the green light to health bureaucrats in other parts of the country that privatisation is the way to go. If he provides the go ahead then bureaucrats seeking short-term solutions to long term challenges will follow the lead.”

“Health professionals with laboratory expertise were deliberately excluded from the DHBs’ decision-making process despite successive Health Ministers having instructed DHBs to increase their engagement with health professionals. If the government approves this privatisation it will be giving health bureaucrats the ‘wink is as good as a nod’ message that it does not mean what it says.”

“The government’s response to the laboratory privatisation proposal will signal whether or not public hospitals are likely to return to the failed business market experiment of the 1990s,” concluded Mr Powell.


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