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Government must heed private lab testing warnings


Health Spokesperson
Government must heed private lab testing warnings

The Health Minister must listen to warnings from medical professionals about the serious risks to services if laboratory testing is privatised, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

Capital Coast and Hutt Valley district health boards are looking to contract out lab tests currently run in-house.

“Those at the front line of providing health services have every right to be concerned by this move.

“Our region is served by highly skilled lab professionals able to provide timely and quality services within the public health system.

“The privatisation of lab work has already created problems and increased costs in other parts of New Zealand yet Tony Ryall has been unable to provide the case for change or the likely disruption that will follow.

“There is a distinct lack of transparency and consultation in this proposal.

“While I understand the financial pressure both DHBs are under following cuts to funding in this year’s budget, short term 'savings’ have a way of turning into long term costs.

“Once a specialist service and team is dismantled it's almost impossible to get that expertise back.

“Private labs must make a profit, and that profit is money which comes straight out of funding for public patients.

“Three months out from the election the Boards need to know they will not have a mandate from a Labour-led government to privatise important parts of the public health system,” Annette King said.

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