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Whanganui DHB Bungles Laboratory Decision

Media Statement For Immediate Release,
Thursday19 October 2006

“Whanganui DHB Bungles Laboratory Decision”


“The Whanganui District Health Board has bungled its provisional decision to privatise its hospital laboratory,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was responding to the decision that Central Medlab was its “first preferred proposal” for both community (GP referrals) and hospital (more complex internal hospital referrals) laboratories.

“This is a backdoor method of putting a core hospital service under private management whose main objective and reason for being is to extract profits out of the service. The hospital laboratory is arguably the most integrated core service. Hospital laboratories affect around 60-70% of clinical decisions but are only around 5% of total hospital costs.”

“We have serious concerns over the DHB’s seriously deficient selection process. This includes the marginalisation of senior doctors’ expertise. The recommendation to the DHB was made by a group dominated by managers without experience in running laboratories and without objective clinical advice.”

“The DHB’s decision fails to comply with a new government protocol which requires that it actively and constructively engages with the health professionals involved in the provision of the service and to explore with them other means of achieving the DHB’s objective. But the advice of health professionals in the hospital laboratory has been marginalised and ignored.”

“We will be assertively challenging the DHB’s provisional decision because we believe it was based on unreliable and misleading information,” concluded Mr Powell.


Ian Powell

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

ENDS

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