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No guarantees on Auckland community labs

Dr Jonathan Coleman
National Party Associate Health Spokesman

22 November 2006

No guarantees on Auckland community labs

There are significant questions still to be answered about the future of community laboratory services in Auckland, says National's Associate Health spokesman and MP for Northcote, Dr Jonathan Coleman.

Parliament's Health Select Committee today heard from Diagnostic Medlab that there are significant risks around the transition to a new community laboratory service provider by July 1 next year.

"One of the biggest risks appears to be around staffing," says Dr Coleman.

"Without the skilled personnel it is impossible to provide the service.

"The committee heard from Diagnostic Medlab CEO Dr Arthur Morris that pathology staff are a highly mobile workforce. Staff were unimpressed that the new provider had assumed they would all go to work there, and was 'treating them like a chattel'.

"If the staff aren't available on July 1, Auckland won't have a laboratory service. The stakes are too high to tolerate that level of uncertainty," says Dr Coleman.

ENDS

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