A petition with more than 4000 signatures asking for the microbiology department at Whakatane Hospital to be reinstated is on its way to Parliament.
A former manager of the Whakatane hospital laboratory, Sandy Milne, says it was disestablished a year after a private company from Tauranga took over in mid 2010.
Mr Milne says a doctor has complained that patients have had to be put on expensive antibiotics because of delays in getting results from Tauranga.
The Bay of Plenty District Health Board says it's not aware of any specimens being delayed.
The board says turnaround times have improved significantly since private company PathLab took over.
The petition has been given to Labour MP Moana Mackey .