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120,000 Aucklanders say no to DHBs’ decision

November 10, 2006
Media Statement
For immediate release

120,000 Aucklanders say no to DHBs’ decision

More than 120,000Aucklanders have registered their disapproval of the decision by the three Auckland District Health Boards to award the community laboratory services contract to a new and unproven provider.

In the four months since the announcement on July 14, over 120,000 have signed a petition requesting that the Auckland DHBs review their decision. The petition has been presented to all three Auckland DHBs and the petition is now closed.

“It’s a real measure of how Aucklanders feel about this bad decision,” pathologist and chief executive of Diagnostic Medlab, Dr Arthur Morris, said.

Many organizations, including the Auckland region’s GPs and specialists, the Royal Australasian College of Pathologists, the New Zealand Medical Association, Auckland Public Health Organisations, the DHBs’ own pathologists, the New Zealand Association of Pathology Practices, the NZ Nurses’ Organisation, the Medical Laboratory Science Board, the New Zealand Institute of Medical Laboratory Science, and the Northern Chemical Workers’ Union, have all expressed their considerable concerns about this decision,” he said.

“The sad thing is that the DHBs’ have ignored this avalanche of professional and public opinion.

“We are extremely confident that the judicial review in February 2007 will reveal gaping holes in the DHBs’ tender processes, but that is only half the story. Regardless of the process, at the end of the day a bad decision is still a bad decision,” Dr Morris said.

Diagnostic Medlab is the current provider of community laboratory services for the Auckland region. It has been providing services for 70 years. Its modern Ellerslie laboratory handles 35,000 tests for 10,000 Auckland patients every day. The laboratory and its outlying collections centres together employ 750 highly trained pathologists, scientists, technologists, phlebotomists, and support staff.

Dr Morris said the strength of support for Diagnostic Medlab from doctors, patients and the general public was a huge factor in the laboratory’s determination to fight a decision clearly not in the best health and safety interests of the Auckland community.

ENDS

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