Results are in on lab test case
A two-and-a-half-year stoush over Auckland’s $560 million lab test contract has finally come to an end.
The Supreme Court has ruled not to hear current provider Diagnostic Medlab’s appeal against a Court of Appeal decision that handed the contract back to Labtests last year.
Labtests, owned by AustralianHealthscope, were awarded the contract by the Auckland Regional District Health Boards in 2006.
But a High Court review in 2007 overturned that decision after it ruled former Auckland District Health Board member Tony Bierre was inappropriately involved with Labtests.
Diagnostic Medlab chief executive Dr Arthur Morris says he’s extremely disappointed the Supreme Court found against the company.
While it will still provide the national cervical screening service for Auckland and take on private contracts, it would have to reduce in size considerably.
He says while it’s likely many of his staff will go to work for Labtests because of their specialised skills, they’ve been steadfast in their support for the company.
“Our staff have been incredibly loyal over this rollercoaster ride.”
One of his concerns is the potential reduction in collection centres, which he feels could make life difficult for the public.
“There are only so many options for people,” he says.
Healthscope director of business development Joe Czyzewski says the number of collection sites could drop.
“While we may end up with marginally less collection centres, they will be bigger with more bleeding chairs to minimise the wait.”
He says the centres will be based at more easily accessible locations.
Mr Czyzewski says staffing numbers will remain similar to what they are now and he hopes Diagnostic Medlab staff will consider working for Labtests.
Auckland Regional District Health Boards chairman Geraint Martin says discussions are under way with the two companies to determine when an exact handover will take place.
Labtests expects its Mt Wellington-based testing facility to be ready by August.