Ararat’s healthcare put into question

The Medical Scientists Association of Victoria is warning that healthcare standards for Ararat residents could be compromised with pathology testing being handed to Dorevitch Pathology at the conclusion of the tender process.

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

“The Medical Scientists Association of Victoria is deeply troubled by reports that Dorevitch Pathology will be taking over pathology testing at Ararat given the extensive history Dorevitch has in taking pathology testing out of hospitals, where it’s needed the most.

“Around 85% of all patient clinical diagnosis is based on a pathology test of one form or another. And on-time test results, like ambulance response times, are an absolutely vital element to delivering world-class health care.

“But we know that Dorevitch’s business model is to gut testing at local hospitals and do testing centrally in Melbourne. Taking testing out of the Ararat hospital would threaten the ongoing viability of current clinical services such as obstetrics, surgery and emergency department as turnaround times for tests blow out.

“In-hospital pathology testing and a full blood bank services are as important to delivering critical clinical services as doctors and nurses.

“Remarkably the local hospital board’s decision appears to be about offering basement bargain healthcare to the people of Ararat. In making this decision, the hospital board will see local jobs lost with the pay and conditions for pathology workers undermined.

“Dorevitch has a model of taking testing out of hospitals. We’ve seen it happen wherever Dorevitch have been contracted and we’ll see it happen in Ararat.

Mr Elliott concluded:

“The hospital board must deliver to the community an iron-clad undertaking from Dorevitch Pathology that all pathology testing and blood bank services will remain in the hospital – without it the Ararat community may find their hospital closing the emergency department and critical clinical services.”

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