The MSAV fears that Kyneton Hospital will have to cease offering its full range of clinical services after Clinical Labs announced it is walking away from its contract with Kyneton Hospital to deliver pathology services. Clinical Labs is claiming that a stagnant case load at the hospital was the reason for the decision.
More than 80% of all patients in the public health system get their clinical diagnosis from a pathology test of one kind or another with turn-around-times for tests being crucial to starting treatments.
The decision by Clinical Labs means that Kyneton Hospital will not be able to safely perform surgeries, including ear, nose throat surgeries, plastic surgery, 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 hospitals full range of maternity services are unlikely to continue and acute care services will also be severely impacted.
The Union believes the decision by Clinical Labs will immediately compromise the quality of care patients receive at Kyneton Hospital given it will no longer have a pathology lab. As you know a fully functioning pathology laboratory is as important to maintaining a hospital’s key clinical services as an ambulance is to maintaining emergency services.
It’s simply not good enough that patients at Kyneton 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 quality of care at Kyneton 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 Kyneton 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.