Latrobe Regional Hospital and Gippsland Pathology failing Latrobe Valley: MSAV

The Medical Scientists Association of Victoria is deeply concerned that Latrobe Regional Hospital is failing to ensure Gippsland Pathology, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dorevitch Pathology, meets its contracted obligations to deliver essential pathology services on site.

Paul Elliott, Executive Officer of the Medical Scientists Association of Victoria, said:

“Failure by Latrobe Regional Hospital to enforce its own contracts is allowing Gippsland Pathology to dictate the services it will provide rather than delivering the services its contracted to provide; ultimately leaving the Latrobe Valley community with a diminished Hospital service.

“Documents published by the Department of Health – Health Purchasing Victoria reveal the pathology services contracted by Latrobe Regional Hospital require Gippsland Pathology to perform pathology testing on-site.

“We know this is not happening. Gippsland Pathology has moved vital testing off-site, immediately leading to increased turn-around times, a measure in the contract to monitor if tests are completed within strict timeframes, for essential pathology tests and results.

Latrobe Regional Hospital has refused to take any action to force Gippsland Pathology to comply with the contract and perform pathology testing in the hospital.

“And with around 85% of all patient clinical diagnosis based on a pathology test of one form or another, on-time test results are an absolutely vital element to delivering world-class health care.”

“But while the number and volume of pathology testing is significantly increasing we have Gippsland Pathology cutting back the scientific workforce needed to ensure testing is performed at the highest possible standards.

“The Napthine Government’s cuts to funding are forcing public hospitals to outsource and privatise essential services, like pathology.

“Unfortunately for patients in the Latrobe Valley, there are currently no alternatives to private providers who are less concerned about maintaining quality testing by qualified scientists than they do about making huge profits.

“It’s time the Health Minister, David Davis ensures that Latrobe Regional Hospital enforces its contracts with Gippsland Pathology so people living in Latrobe Valley can be assured they are receiving world-class health care, not substandard health care.

“More importantly it shows that the experiment of Local Hospital Boards has failed to deliver the health outcomes Victorians expect and the Napthine Government must end its ideologically driven push for ever more privatisation of health care.”

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