Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20

Thread: AKL to lose Diagnostic Medlab

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Auckland, NZ (formerly U.S.A)
    Posts
    285

    Unhappy AKL to lose Diagnostic Medlab

    I am a recent immigrant to New Zealand and a histo/cytopathologist at Diagnostic Medlab (DML) in Auckland, but I am writing this post as a concerned Auckland resident.

    As some of you may know, the three Auckland District Health Boards (DHBs) recently decided not to renew DML's contract to provide laboratory services to the Auckland region. As of 1 July 2007, all of the lab testing that DML currently provides (over 30,000 specimens on over 10,000 patients every day) will be performed by Labtests Auckland, an organization with no facilities, no staff and no accreditation. Coincidentally, Labtests Auckland's CEO, Dr. Tony Bierre, is a member of one of the Auckland DHBs that awarded the contract to his company.

    Labtests has already indictated that they plan to close nearly half of DML's collection sites (DML would have had to take similar action to meet the DHBs cost cutting target) and that they will increase the turn-around-time (the time between when your blood or tissue is taken and when your doctor gets the results) on all "non-urgent" tests.

    Labtests has also claimed that they are interested in purchasing DML's central facility in Ellerslie. DML's parent company, Sonic Healthcare, has assured us and our shareholders that the facility will not be sold to another laboratory. Labtests is also claiming that DML's pathology staff is enthusiastic about the opportunities offered by the new consortium. Nothing could be further from the truth, as has been indicated in a recent letter signed by the majority of the DML pathology staff.

    What does all of this mean to you? Well, considering that approximately 70% of medical decisions are based upon the results of laboratory testing, the health care of all Aucklanders could be in grave danger beginning next 1 July.

    DML has provided an excellent service to doctors and patients in the Auckland area for nearly 70 years. It has taken generations of pathologists decades to create the world class company that exists today. What Labtests has claimed that it will be able to do, namely, duplicate our facilities and services, in less than one year, with no staff, has never been done anywhere in the world. Our health care is not worth this gamble.

    If you find all of this rather disturbing, go to

    http://www.dontriskourhealth.com/

    and read the news articles (articles from both sides of the debate are presented), and if you live in the Auckland area and you remain concerned, sign the online petition requesting that the DHBs re-open the tender process. Keep watching that site, the NZ Herald and TV One (CloseUp is investigating the decision) for more information. Also, be sure to tell everyone that you know who might be impacted by this decision. This battle is far from over...

    Jeff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    88

    Default

    Ok, so I'll go first.

    Quote Originally Posted by jo-and-jeff
    Labtests has also claimed that they are interested in purchasing DML's central facility in Ellerslie. DML's parent company, Sonic Healthcare, has assured us and our shareholders that the facility will not be sold to another laboratory.
    Prediction: DML will sell the facility as a going concern to Labtests. Under company law, company directors are required to act in the best interest of the shareholders, and if there is more shareholder value in flogging the lab in one go to Labtests rather than selling it off piecemeal, then that is what DML are mandated to do by law.

    Another alternative is that DML could sit tight, and then they will actually go bankrupt, as they have lots of staff, lots of expensvie leased equipment, lots of building costs, and no income stream.

    Quote Originally Posted by jo-and-jeff
    Labtests is also claiming that DML's pathology staff is enthusiastic about the opportunities offered by the new consortium.
    Well, they may not be enthusiastic, but options for staff will be either (1) move elsewhere (mainly overseas) to find a job, (2) change careers, or (3) sign up with Labtests. So my prediction is that 90% of the staff that Labtests end up with will be ex-DML.

    Quote Originally Posted by jo-and-jeff
    What Labtests has claimed that it will be able to do, namely, duplicate our facilities and services, in less than one year, with no staff, has never been done anywhere in the world.
    So its clear that Labtests have a strategy here; grab the people and the facilites, and on Monday at 8:59 DML own the ship, and one minute later Labtests take over command. The closing of the collection sites can happen after the takeover.

    More than that, DML will be caught in a PR trap; if DML "obstruct" the handover to Labtests, they will be roasted by Labtests, the DHB and the Government. Any implementation niggles (or disasters), any lack of public services will be laid (in fault terms) firmly in the baliwick of DML.

    Its all quite sad really, as DML had some backbone, stood up for what the community needed despite the DHB telling them what they wanted, and will be wiped off the face of the Auckland map for doing so. I suspect they wont have quite so much backbone next time.

    I've been involved in Government IT in years gone by as a contractor to a contractor that provides services, and had similar things happen in that our mob (300+ bodies) have been ousted, and we were required to co-operate to ensure smooth handover so services are maintained. DML would be best advised to act in the best interest of the DHB, who are the piper that calls the tune. There's always the next time, and in my experience jobsworth pen-pushers have an alarmingly long corporate memory.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    242

    Thumbs down Not Good!

    i think it will be so bad to loose medilab!
    I went today to take several tests and as always i got magnificent service. The staff is so friendly and they did tell me their concernes...they really dont even know what will happen if they close the lab as they will loose their jobs.
    I think is ridiculous to even think that the company that wants to close medilab is going to be capable to do as many tests as required by the aucklanders!
    We need people to not only say it is a shame but to sign the petition so this nonsense can be stop.
    God bless,
    Adriana

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Auckland, NZ (formerly U.S.A)
    Posts
    285

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DB
    Prediction: DML will sell the facility as a going concern to Labtests. Under company law, company directors are required to act in the best interest of the shareholders, and if there is more shareholder value in flogging the lab in one go to Labtests rather than selling it off piecemeal, then that is what DML are mandated to do by law.
    Hi, Jo here this time.

    Note: all opinions and statements expressed here are purely my own, and Jeff is not responsible for them, nor does he endorse them, in any way.

    The above scenario is based on the assumption that DML is a standalone NZ company. In fact, it is owned by an Australian company, Sonic Healthcare, which owns labs in Australia, Hong Kong, the UK and in the USA. Since Sonic owns other labs in NZ, and since DML is the largest of those labs, selling it to a competitor would only make the smaller labs "soft targets", a move that would most certainly not be in the best interest of Sonic shareholders. In fact, Sonic plans to use the facility "for other purposes" should it be unable to successfully challenge the DHBs decision. For more info on Sonic's response, see their latest press release (pdf document).


    ... options for staff will be either (1) move elsewhere (mainly overseas) to find a job, (2) change careers, or (3) sign up with Labtests. So my prediction is that 90% of the staff that Labtests end up with will be ex-DML.
    The actual figure will probably be lower, for a couple of reasons. While it's true that many of the lab technicians and other support staff will be unable to relocate even if they wanted to, in order for Labtests to provide services for the amount that they bid to the DHBs, they are going to have to make some serious cuts in staffing (according to last night's CloseUp news report, they say they will hire more than 300 people; DML currently employs around 750), and in services (43 testing /collection centers around the city compared to DML's 84).

    It's bad enough that so many Aucklanders are going to become suddenly unemployed. But that won't be as much of problem for the pathologists, only a handful of whom (as I understand it) are native Kiwis. 26 of the 37 pathologists who work for Diagnostic Medlab have signed a public statement indicating that they believe that the changeover will have a dramatically adverse effect on Aucklanders' health and that they are "far from enthusiastic about the new opportunities" presented by Labtests' claim that the pathologists can take up new jobs with their company.

    There is an international shortage of pathologists at the moment and jobs for pathologists are relatively plentiful overseas. Not only that, but pathologists' salaries are significantly higher in countries such as the U.K., U.S., and Australia (where taxes are also lower than in NZ). Many NZ-trained pathologists go to other countries for precisely this reason.

    If two-thirds of DML's pathologists refuse to work for Labtests and move to other countries, and the usual time frame for getting one pathologist from another country through the NZ Migrant process and installed on the job in NZ is 6 months to a year, who is going to be doing Aucklanders' pathology???


    There's always the next time, and in my experience jobsworth pen-pushers have an alarmingly long corporate memory.
    In fact, there may be no "next time". If this outrageous decision by the DHB to award Aucklanders' health care to an essentially non-existent lab (one small facility in Northland) goes forward, when the contract expires in 8 years there may be no competition in Auckland to bid for the renewal. After a company the size of DML has been shut down overnight by the DHB's tender process, who in their right mind would want to risk setting up shop here?

    This decision, which has the potential to adversely affect the health care of hundreds of thousands of people in the Auckland area, can be reversed. But to do so, Aucklanders will have to speak up NOW, to the Ministers of Health, to the DHBs, and to the press.


    Last edited by jo-and-jeff; 28th July 2006 at 07:26 PM. Reason: accuracy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    North Shore, Auckland
    Posts
    2,801

    Default

    Just wanted to agree with 'Mexican in NZ'. I use the MediLab in Devonport and they are fantastic. I have a needle phobia, so its never going to be a good experience for me, but they are friendly, efficient and painless. I also never have to wait more than a few minutes (as long as you avoid Monday mornings).

    My experience of giving Pregnancy bloods in the UK is the complete opposite, you have to wait ages, they often loose results and its a 50/50 chance that they get it right first time.

    I signed the petition yesterday. Hope it has some effect!

    Cheers

    Tia

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2

    Default Disturbing News

    Thanks for the information Jeff. My wife and I are long time luckers who finally registered and our doing preliminary research on a possible emigration to NZ from the USA. I am a Cytotechnologist in the US with 16 years of experience and my wife is a Phlebotomist(studying Nursing).

    This news certainly opens a cautionary door for us in terms of job prospects and job security, which are two of our top priorities with two children to support. This shake-up reminds me of the reference lab turmoil in the late 90's in the USA with many acquisitions and turn-over of large labs. I hope all works out well with the best interests of the patients, clinicians and staff in mind.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    UK>Welly>Boonies>where next?
    Posts
    3,756

    Default

    Hi CaliReg

    I'm just hilacking this thread for a mo to say

    Welcome to the forum.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Auckland, NZ (formerly U.S.A)
    Posts
    285

    Default



    You can write to the Prime Minister
    (no stamp needed within New Zealand) at:

    Rt Hon Helen Clark
    Prime Minister
    PO Box 18888
    Parliament Buildings
    Wellington
    NEW ZEALAND
    Ph: 64 4 471 9998
    Fax: 64 4 473 3579
    e-mail: pm@ministers.govt.nz
    If you e-mail the Prime Minister and would like a reply you should include a postal address in your e-mail.

    You can also contact Helen at her electorate office:

    Helen Clark
    65 Sandringham Road
    Auckland
    NEW ZEALAND
    Ph: 64 9 846 3117
    Fax: 64 9 846 4354


    Minister of Health
    Hon Pete Hodgson
    Level 19
    Bowen House
    Cnr Lambton Quay and Bowen Street
    WELLINGTON
    email: phodgson@ministers.govt.nz
    Tel (04) 470 6558
    Fax (04) 495 8449


    Associate Minister of Health
    Hon Jim Anderton
    7th Floor
    The Beehive
    WELLINGTON
    email: janderton@ministers.govt.nz
    Tel (04) 470 6550
    Fax (04) 495 8441


    Associate Minister of Health
    Hon Damien O’Connor
    5.3L
    Executive Wing
    Parliament Buildings
    WELLINGTON
    email: doconnor@ministers.govt.nz
    Tel (04) 470 6574
    Fax (04) 472 8054


    Associate Minister of Health
    Hon Mita Ririnui
    4th Floor
    Executive Wing
    Parliament Buildings
    WELLINGTON
    email: mririnui@ministers.govt.nz
    Tel (04) 470 6577
    Fax (04) 472 8069


    Associate Minister of Health
    Hon Peter Dunne
    Bowen House
    Cnr Lambton Quay and Bowen Street
    WELLINGTON
    email: pdunne@ministers.govt.nz
    Tel (04) 471 9615
    Fax (04) 473 5817


    Your Ministers in Parliament


    Northern DHB Support Agency Ltd
    PO Box 112147
    Penrose
    AUCKLAND
    Tel (09) 589 3900
    Fax (09) 589 3901

    General Manager
    Sam Cliffe
    Tel (09) 589 3902
    email: Sam.Cliffe@ndsa.co.nz


    Auckland District Health Board
    Address Building 21
    Gate 3
    Greenlane Clinical Centre
    Greenlane
    Auckland

    Postal PO Box 92 189
    Auckland
    Telephone +64 9 638 9909
    Fax +64 9 631 0737

    Waitemata District Health Board
    Address North Shore Hospital Campus
    Shakespeare Road
    Takapuna
    Auckland
    Postal Private Bag 93-503,Auckland
    Telephone +64 9 441 8915
    Fax +64 9 486 8957
    Web

    Counties Manukau District Health Board
    19 Lambie Drive
    Manukau City
    Auckland

    Postal Address
    Private Bag 94052
    South Auckland Mail Centre
    Telephone: 09-262 9500
    Fax: 09-262 9501


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Smiler, thanks for the welcome

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Auckland, NZ (formerly U.S.A)
    Posts
    285

    Default RALLY TO SUPPORT Diagnostic Medlab

    Auckland CBD

    Saturday August 19th at 2pm...Bottom of Queen St to Aotea Square...

    Be there and bring as many family and friends as you can if you wish to see this decision overturned...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •