11 Sep 2009

Doctors to be given direct access to lab specialists

10:38 pm on 11 September 2009

District health boards in Auckland say doctors will be given direct access to specialists to help allay their criticisms amid the move to a new company providing laboratory testing.

GPs remain upset about the change from Diagnostic Medlab Ltd to the Labtests company, which was completed this week when Lab Tests assumed total responsibility for the $560 million contract.

Doctors say they are frustrated at having to go through a call centre rather than being able to get faster advice from pathologists about a patient's test results.

They also say thought should be given to paying them to take blood samples from patients.

The boards say GPs will get direct access to specialists, but doctors will have to talk to Lab Tests about the other request.