The Union is alarmed that the management of Western Health is more concerned about looking after the commercial interests of a private pathology provider than they are ensuring that private provider is delivering pathology services as contracted.

Last week the Union was involved in 2 days of hearings in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) arguing that pathology services information is public information which should be released under the FOI Act.

Dorevitch Pathology’s legal team spent most of that time telling VCAT that the company’s commercial interests needed to be protected and therefore the information should not be released.

Western Health’s sole contribution was a short statement saying that it (WH) supported Dorevitch’s case – that was it!

The Union believes that Dorevitch Pathology does not want such information released because it will show they are failing to perform pathology services to the levels fixed in the contract and particularly that it has failed to comply with pathology test turn-around time KPIs.

The Union is interested in turn-around times because they will show how workloads have exploded in the past 24 months, putting greater pressure on fewer scientists. And we suspect the turn-around times information we have asked to see will show that Dorevitch Pathology is significantly compromising the quality of pathology services being delivered to Western Health patients.

It really makes you wonder why Western Health is supporting a private provider ahead of its obligation to deliver world-class healthcare.

Serious questions must be raised by the Victorian Government about a public health organisation supporting a private provider’s bid 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.

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