Labs Excluded from Prince Edward Integration

I spoke on laboratory services at the April 21 general meeting of the Friends of Prince Edward County Health. They have experienced a noticeable reduction in services since the local hospital was stopped from seeing community patients and all the work is now done by LifeLabs.

At the meeting there was also a speaker from the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), the regional health authority. Her talk was on the proposed redevelopment of health care services in the community and how they planned to integrate most services into in one facility for the ease of patients and to improve quality. She talked about how a patient would be able to see a family doctor then walk down the hall, visit an inpatient and get an x-ray done: all in one trip.

The irony did not escape the meeting: the LHIN is same organization that made it impossible for the local hospital to provide laboratory services to the community.

How much quicker it would be if the test was processed on site. How much less likely the chance of error or harm to the sample since it does not have to travel hundreds of kilometres to a for-profit lab. How handy for the physician to be able to go the lab and talk with a laboratory specialists if they have a question. How helpful for the hospital lab to have the extra volume so they could hire more staff and better equipment.

Talk about integration is cheap when private health care is involved and not likely to happen.

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