Medical Scientists disappointed in Victorian Budget

15032_0012The Medical Scientists Association of Victoria is disappointed that the Victorian Government has again forgotten to ensure that Victoria’s health system is underpinned by world class pathology, a critical clinical service.

Public health services continue to treat pathology as a less than critical clinical service and this year’s budget will ensure that the health and wellbeing of Victorians is put at risk because there is not enough funding to these critical services. With more than 80% of all patients in the public health system getting their clinical diagnosis from a pathology test of one kind or another, turn-around times are crucial to ensuring patient safety. 100% of patients rely on pathology tests for diagnosis and treatment and without pathology it is not possible to deliver world-class cancer treatments and care.

The outsourcing of pathology services to private pathology providers is putting Victoria’s public hospitals at risk of being incapable of delivering world class healthcare as pathology laboratories are closed and testing is shifted to Melbourne.

Putting patient safety first means our hospitals must have world class medical scientists and pathology laboratories not more outsourcing. It’s not possible to deliver patient safety when its entirely reliant on getting tests done quickly which can’t be done when private pathology providers dictate the level of service.

Regional and rural Victoria will not be able to deliver world-class healthcare or ensure cancer patients are properly cared for regardless of how much is spent on upgrading hospitals if pathology services are outsourced. Without pathology done locally it means test turnaround times are increase delaying diagnosis and treatment.

It’s not good enough for the Andrews Government to ignore the need to properly fund critical clinical services like pathology. It’s just not possible to deliver the best possible care without pathology services being conducted in-house.

And it’s absolutely impossible to deliver the best possible care wherever Victorians need it, especially in regional and rural Victoria, when private pathology providers are consolidating services and shifting pathology out of local hospitals to Melbourne.

Healthcare when we need it means ensuring pathology services are fully funded and the outsourcing stops. Every outsourced pathology lab means turnaround times for tests increase resulting in delays to diagnoses and treatments.

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