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Health Testing Failed by Conflict Of Interest

Health Testing Failed by Conflict Of Interest

Heather Roy
Monday, 3 April 2006
Press Releases - Health

New arrangements creating a conflict of interest for District Health Boards mean that all of Wellington's community diagnostic laboratories face closure, said ACT's health spokesperson, Heather Roy.

"District Health Boards can now choose to fund only their own diagnostic testing, and Wellington's DHBs are about to award themselves the contract", Mrs Roy said.

"Valley Diagnostics and Wellington Pathology have provided medical testing to Wellingtonians for 70 years, but under current plans will have their funding stopped completely.

"The Labour Government is responsible for a serious conflict of interest. Private laboratories are victims of a system that puts their fate into the hands of an organisation that also provides a competing service.

"There is an additional problem that hospital testing services will be swamped by the increased demand.

"Historically Hospital Boards paid for hospital medical investigations and tests ordered by GPs. These were done by private laboratories under a contract with the Ministry of Health.

"Under the new arrangements, District Health Boards will get to decide whether anyone else should be allowed to compete with them.

"Capital Coast and Hutt Valley District Health Boards are about to award the contract for community based laboratory services to themselves.

"Labour's decision to give DHBs responsibility for general practice means they act as a player and a referee in the same game", Mrs Roy said.


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