12 Aug 2009

Only minor glitches to date in lab change over

2:59 pm on 12 August 2009

District health boards in Auckland say there have been only minor glitches so far amid a change to a new company providing all medical testing.

Labtests is into its third day of delivering testing in the Counties-Manukau DHB area. It began taking over the $560 million contract from Diagnostic Medlab Ltd on Monday.

Labtests is picking up the contract in stages with the Auckland DHB next in two weeks, followed by the Waitemata DHB area on 7 September.

DHB project director Tim Wood says it is going well so far. Close monitoring will continue as the workload will effectively double every two weeks during the transition.

Clendon GP Peter Didsbury says doctors are also monitoring the change, but patient care has not suffered.

Labtests Ltd won the contract from Diagnostic Medlab Limited after a bitter court row that ended earlier this year.

The original contract was let by the three health boards in 2006, but the High Court in Auckland overturned the decision.

That ruling was itself overturned by the Appeal Court, backed by the Supreme Court.

Labtests is owned by Australian company Healthscope.