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Leongatha loses blood testing lab

GIPPSLAND Southern Health Service CEO Mark Johnson has rejected claims by a whistleblower that a streamlined pathology service would put Leongatha Hospital patients at risk.

But a hospital employee, who informed the paper about an external investigation into the workplace culture of the healthcare service, said they believed the loss of a blood testing laboratory in the town could be “life threatening”.

“Now the reason, it seems, has not been made public and there is bewilderment as why this has happened when it is believed that both tendering parties offered to provide an onsite lab service,” they said.

“It seems the secret nature and a culture of misinformation and denial at GSHS has further eroded another vital service for the local community, who may or may not be aware of the consequences when urgent pathology is required.”

The staff member said if a Leongatha Hospital patient needed urgent blood they would now be forced to wait much longer in the case of an emergency – with blood needing to be couriered to the Wonthaggi lab and tested for type, rather than being done quickly onsite.  

In contrast to the claims, a media release provided to The Star said the service would “continue to provide safe and timely services”.

Monash Pathology successfully tendered to provide the service, replacing former provider Dorevitch on October 21.

The pathology service covers Gippsland Southern Health Service’s (GSHS) hospitals at Leongatha and Korumburra, Bass Coast Health, South Gippsland Hospital at Foster, and Yarram and District Health Service.

Mr Johnson said there would be no reduction in pathology services in the region as a result of the change, though only one laboratory will service the region from Wonthaggi.

“Both tenderers had indicated they preferred to have one laboratory across the five hospitals to achieve economies of scale,” Mr Johnson said.

“While GSHS no longer has a scientist and laboratory on site, we have had no reduction in pathology service.”

Mr Johnson said both tenderers believed they did not need two laboratories 30 minutes apart.

“There have been some minor teething issues with the changeover but we believe they have been resolved,” he said.

“We are confident of the service and the turnaround times in pathology reporting are as good, and in some cases better, under the new system.”

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=30409

Posted by on Nov 19 2019. Filed under Community, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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