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Board makes decision on preferred provider


17 October 2006

Board makes decision on preferred provider for laboratory services

Following a lengthy Request for Proposal process, Hawke’s Bay District Health Board members have made a decision on a preferred provider of laboratory services to partner with the Hawke’s Bay Hospital laboratory.

General manager of planning, funding and performance, Dr Win Bennett, said the DHB was now in discussions with that provider regarding how the two organisations could work in partnership, to provide an integrated service that would maintain good access to laboratory tests for people living throughout Hawke’s Bay.

Dr Bennett said a month had been set aside for discussions with the preferred provider. This will enable both parties to come up with a workable model, which is expected to be fully operational by the beginning of March 2007.

“From the public’s perspective, it will be business as usual. However, from the DHB’s perspective, we need to work differently to reduce the current service fragmentation. The new arrangement has the potential to save millions of health dollars.

The DHB is keen to enter a five year contract with the preferred provider.

HBDHB currently spends around $7.4 million each year on laboratory tests performed by community laboratories.

Dr Bennett said the DHB was spending tax-payer’s money and had a responsibility to ensure it received maximum health benefit for every dollar spent. “DHBs around the country have realised there are savings to be made by changing the way they work. In recent years we have seen a significant increase in the number of community lab tests carried out throughout Hawke’s Bay.

“By teaming up with a community laboratory and exploring different ways of working together, we are confident of realising savings, and potentially improving services provided to the public,” Dr Bennett said.

ENDS

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