Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?

It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Clinicians have sent the Government some very strong warnings about the proposal to integrate Wellington’s hospital and community diagnostic testing services, saying privatising labs could delay diagnosis and treatment, potentially risking lives.

“These services, and the timely diagnosis they provide, are an integral part of the hospital system. Fragmenting them will undoubtedly have implications for both clinical decision-making and the safety of patients.

“Integrating laboratory work may well be the beginning of a broader Government agenda to privatise other health services.

“Mr Coleman has been advised of the risks. He now needs to say straight up where he stands,” Annette King said.