The Union is extremely concerned that Dorevitch Pathology is seeking to prevent the truth coming out about the pathology services contract and turn-around times (TATs) for pathology tests at the Western Health after it was revealed the company is challenging decisions by Victoria’s Freedom of Information Commissioner.

The Union has serious concerns about cuts to the standards for turn-around times for pathology tests at the Western Health after it was revealed that TATs were being cut at Latrobe Regional Hospital where Dorevitch Pathology also provides pathology services. The Union regularly informs politicians and the community that turn-around times on pathology tests are set under crucial to ensuring patients are diagnosed quickly so treatment can begin as soon as possible; and are the pathology equivalent to waiting times for ambulances.

The Union is disappointed that Dorevitch Pathology is appealing an FOI Commissioner decision to prevent important documents being released. Of course you have to wonder what it is that Dorevitch Pathology doesn’t want us to find out.

The Union is interested in turn-around times because they show how workloads have exploded in last 24 months, putting greater pressure on fewer scientists. And it’s remarkable that Dorevitch Pathology wants to prevent access to test turn-around times when these should really be made publicly known. They’re an indicator of how quickly people can expect to get a diagnosis and when treatment can begin.

Instead of working to improve turn-around times it appears that Dorevitch Pathology wants to hide the truth of what is happening at the Western General and Sunshine hospitals.

What really concerns the Union though is that Dorevitch Pathology is really appealing our request for this information because it’ll show that they’re shifting work out of Western Hospital to their Heidelberg headquarters; sacking scientists which is increasing delays in test turn-around times.

In effect it looks like Dorvetich Pathology wants to hide from the public possible breaches of their contract with Western Health to deliver a comprehensive testing service in the Hospital’s laboratories that includes all required tests and testing methodologies, test interpretation and release of results.

It has to be remembered that if Dorevitch Pathology gets away with shifting pathology testing away from the major public hospitals in the western suburbs it would leave around 40% of Melbourne’s population without immediate access to pathology testing.

The Union is raising serious questions with Western Health and the Victorian Government about a private pathology business wanting to keep hidden from public scrutiny vital information like turn-around times for tests. People living in Melbourne’s western suburbs deserve quality healthcare, not this kind of contempt from a private provider.

The Union will continue to press for access to turn-around times for pathology tests at Western Health and will continue to fight back against staff cuts that ultimately undermine world-class healthcare outcomes for all Victorians.

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