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Clearance for SCL to acquire Medlab South

23 March 2012

Commerce Commission grants clearance to Southern Community Laboratories to acquire Medlab South Limited

Today the Commerce Commission has granted clearance for Southern Community Laboratories (SCL) to buy Medlab South Limited.

CSCL CEO, Dr Peter Gootjes said he was pleased with the outcome and the fact that the Commerce Commission has undertaken a robust investigation into the company’s application.

Last year the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) invited proposals for a new exclusive community laboratory service contract. Current providers Medlab South and CSCL both submitted detailed proposals. CSCL was successful and will now partner with CDHB owned Canterbury Health Laboratories to deliver a new integrated community laboratory service in Canterbury. Medlab South’s contract with the CDHB will end on March 31, 2012 with the new exclusive community pathology service taking effect from 1 April, 2012.

“It’s important the general public know there will be minimal change during the transition – it will be business as usual for most people who need to have tests carried out and for most referrers such as GPs and other clinicians,” said Dr Gootjes.

“We have been working very closely with our colleagues at the CDHB to ensure that the majority of Medlab South’s staff will either work for CSCL, find a role within Canterbury Health Laboratories, or get an opportunity elsewhere in the Canterbury health system,” said Dr Gootjes.

“Of the 145 people working for Medlab South at the time we were awarded the contract, we know that some have recently left the organisation, while a number have been made redundant by Medlab South. With the new contract we will have an additional 88 full-time jobs and we hope to provide these jobs to the Medlab South employees joining us.”

Carolyn Gullery, the CDHB’s General Manager Planning and Funding said, “this week all Medlab South employees will receive a letter from the CDHB offering assistance and support for anyone impacted by a job loss and who is seeking new employment opportunities.”

Dr Gootjes said the transition of services from Medlab South to CSCL was going well. “We will now be able to improve communication directly with the health work force about the logistics of the change.

“We are building a state-of-the art community laboratory at Logistics Drive near the airport which should open in May. The opening is later than originally anticipated to ensure the building complies with seismic strengthening requirements.

“Our aim is to improve the quality of service to both health professionals and the general public by working in collaboration with Canterbury Health Laboratories to provide an efficient and sustainable service,” said Dr Gootjes.

From April 1, Canterbury Health Laboratories will focus primarily on hospital work and complex tests, with CSCL servicing most of the high volume community demand, mainly from General Practice, specialists in private practice and Midwives.

With the purchase of Medlab South, CSCL will also take over the provision of community and hospital pathology services to the South Canterbury DHB and the Nelson Marlborough DHB.


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