30 Aug 2009

Cancer patient criticises new lab test provider

3:04 pm on 30 August 2009

A cancer sufferer is calling on a new laboratory testing firm to have enough staff on duty, after she had to wait up to an hour and a half for tests in Auckland.

The 46-year-old, who doesn't want to be named, told Radio New Zealand more than 30 people had to wait at the Labtests facility in Mount Wellington on Sunday morning. Some had to sit on the floor because there weren't enough seats, she said.

Labtests is in the process of taking over community medical testing for the Auckland region from Diagnostic Medlab, after a long and bitter legal fight.

The woman, who says she has no affiliation with the previous provider, is urging Labtests management to witness what's happening.

Labtests says it had five staff on duty, dealing with 30 to 40 patients per hour.

It says on Sunday morning it had to give priority to fertility patients, and is unable to control when people attend their facilities for tests.

Chief executive Ulf Lindskog says bringing in a booking system would be impractical, given the large numbers of people attending the labs.