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Tendering of pathology destabilising workforce

Hon Tony Ryall
National Party Health Spokesman

9 November 2006

Tendering of pathology services destabilising workforce

National’s Health spokesman, Tony Ryall, says the upheaval caused by the tendering of laboratory services across the country is destabilising a pathology workforce already suffering from a critical shortage.

“There is considerable concern about the future of community laboratory services across the country, not to mention the workforce affected by these changes,” says Mr Ryall.

“The Royal College of GPs, the NZ Medical Association, and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia have spoken about their concerns.”

The NZMA today said the Health Minister must heed the warnings he has been given over laboratory services contracts before New Zealand heads into a disastrous situation.

The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia said in a recent letter to Health Minister Pete Hodgson that the ‘lack of adequate consultation with the profession over the changes had caused significant concerns’. They have called on the Minister to put a stop to further tendering arrangements, which they say are destabilising and disenfranchising the workforce.

Mr Ryall says nearly 120,000 Aucklanders have signed a petition calling for a review of the contracting process which resulted in Diagnostic Medlab losing its contract to new company Labtests Auckland.

“This is happening all over the country and is causing massive upheaval, both for the patients and the people running the labs.

“National says there needs to be a national policy on laboratory services, with competition, workforce sustainability and quality objectives.

“Right now every DHB is doing their own thing with little cognizance of the effect on other DHBs and our national pathology capacity,” says Mr Ryall.

ENDS

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