17 Sep 2009

Row simmers over Labtests staff qualifications

4:14 pm on 17 September 2009

General practitioners say they want the Auckland laboratory testing firm Labtests to be required to remove from its website the names of doctors not yet formally registered to work in this country.

The Medical Council has confirmed that five pathologists listed on the website are not yet registered as doctors in this country. However, it says they are in line to do so once they arrive in New Zealand, and that everyone else at Labtests has the necessary qualifications.

The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners says that is not good enough. Its chief executive, Karen Thomas, says the names should be taken off the site until the doctors are registered.

Labtests' Australian owner, Healthscope, says there is mischief-making at the root of the concerns. Labtests has faced a storm of criticism over its testing service since it took over the contract from Diagnostic Medlabs Ltd.

Healthscope says it believes the criticism is the result of petulance by those who are disappointed about the change in service provider. It says it is making rapid progress in lifting the standard of the service.