The Union fears that Alexandra Hospital will have to cease offering its full range of clinical services as Clinical Labs announces it is walking away from its contract with Alexandra Hospital to deliver pathology services.
Clinical Labs notified the Union that it will close the pathology laboratory at Alexandra Hospital and walk away from the hospital stating that a stagnant case load at the hospital was the reason for the decision.
The decision by Clinical Labs means that Alexandra Hospital will not be able to safely perform surgeries, including ear, nose throat surgeries, paediatric surgery or obstetrics and general surgery without medical scientists in a fully functioning pathology laboratory in the hospital. It also means that without an onsite blood bank the hospital’s full range of acute care services are unlikely to continue or at the very least will be severely impacted.
A fully functioning pathology laboratory is as important to maintaining a hospital’s key clinical services as an ambulance is to maintaining accident and emergency department services.
If a pathology laboratory is essential to being able to deliver safe, high quality clinical services to patients this week, how can the same services be delivered safely the next week with no pathology? The government needs to resolve this critical question.
It’s simply not good enough that patients at Alexandra Hospital are not being given the highest quality of care because a private pathology provider has now walked away from delivering vital pathology services.
Essentially the business decisions of Clinical Labs, a for-profit pathology provider, are dictating the safety of patients and the quality and range of care at Alexandra Hospital. There is every chance that, without a pathology laboratory, local patients will now have to travel large distances to receive medical treatment currently delivered in their local public hospital.
The Union is calling on Alexandra Hospital and Health Minister, Jill Hennessy, to assure the community that vital pathology services will continue and that private pathology providers like Clinical Labs are barred from being awarded pathology contracts at any public hospital in the future when this is the how they treat Victorians.