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Labtests Auckland Team On-Track

Thursday 10 August 2006

Labtests Auckland Team On-Track

Labtests Auckland is building on its senior project management team as its steps up its plans to provide community laboratory services to the Auckland region from July next year.

The Labtests team has embarked on an intense implementation phase, focused on establishing the necessary infrastructure, networks and support systems. It combines a wealth of practical experience in the establishment of ‘greenfields’ projects and in the running of substantial laboratories.

Project Director, Ulf Lindskog, was previously chief financial officer of Healthscope’s diagnostic division, which has laboratories in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and India employing around 2,600 employees. Malcolm Stringer, who is managing the implementation of laboratory operations, was previously National Operations Manager for Healthscope’s Pathology business. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the pathology industry in both the public and private sectors and has been involved in the establishment of laboratories in Melbourne, regional Victoria, Malaysia and India.

Consultation with stakeholder groups is well underway and Labtests Auckland is preparing to meet with the chief executive officers and boards of the PHOs representing health professionals in the Auckland region to explain the Labtests approach and to discuss their suggestions for the delivery of high quality laboratory services.

In addition, Labtests Auckland is in discussion with a number of senior pathologists and laboratory professionals about the roles they can fill within the Labtests group. The consortium plans to recruit 300 laboratory staff and around 173 support staff, creating a 473-strong workforce in the Auckland region. A shortlist of potential laboratory premises has been identified and assessed, with an announcement expected soon on location and a fit-out schedule.

Labtests Auckland chief executive, Dr Tony Bierre, said: “We are in the first stages of implementation but Labtests is moving quickly to put into action its advance planning so that people can see for themselves how we will operate and the high quality service we intend to provide. We are already ahead of the milestones we set out to achieve.”

Dr Bierre said that Diagnostic Medlab’s decision to seek a judicial review of the Auckland District Health Boards’ decision was disappointing, but that it would not distract Labtests from the task at hand.

“We are absolutely focused on doing what is necessary to establish the infrastructure, networks and systems that will enable Labtests to provide a first rate laboratory service for the communities in and around Auckland.

“Labtests is confident the DHBs ran a stringently fair selection process and we will not be distracted from our efforts to ensure an orderly transition of community laboratory services from July next year. Labtests Auckland has a binding contract with the DHBs and we will deliver on that contract.”


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