Bendigo Health and Health Minister must explain implications of cuts to Pathology
The Medical Scientists Association of Victoria, which represents the industrial and professional interests of scientists working in pathology at Bendigo Health, has joined the growing number of voices expressing concern about the on-going quality of healthcare offered through Bendigo Health after it announced cuts to staff at its pathology service.
Dr Rosemary Kelly, MSAV secretary, said:
“It is extremely difficult for Bendigo Health or the Victorian Health Minister, David Davis, to claim there will be no reduction in services given the growing dependence on pathology testing in our public hospitals with around 85% of all patient clinical diagnosis based on a pathology test of one form or another.
“Our members are deeply concerned about which pathology services will be maintained at Bendigo Health especially in light of the tender requirements to provide a fully accredited pathology service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to meet the urgent and routine needs of Bendigo Health.
Bendigo Health tender documents reveal that successful tenderers would be required to provide a fully accredited pathology service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to meet urgent and routine needs of Bendigo Health. This includes rapid services to support the activities of the Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, operating theatres, neonatal facilities, and for outpatient services, such as IVF, cancer and endocrine services.
Dr Kelly continued:
“It is interesting that Bendigo Health made no mention of which services will stay at Bendigo Health and which will be transferred to Healthscope’s Melbourne based operations.
“This is particularly interesting given the tender arrangements in place that require Healthscope to deliver pathology services on-site at Bendigo Health campuses.
“It is essential that Bendigo Health and the Victorian Health Minister make clear to the community whether Bendigo Health will be able to provide pathology testing services for the Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, operating theatres or for IVF and cancer outpatients?
“It’s clear to the Medical Scientists Association of Victoria and its members that the only way to guarantee quality pathology services, and quality health outcomes, at Bendigo Health is to bring pathology services back in-house,” concluded Dr Kelly.