There’s an interesting development in the Labtests story. Adolf Fiinkensein at No Minister posed a series of questions to Tony Ryall yesterday, for which he received a very interesting e-mail today. The sender alleges that three of the HDC complaints are made by a DML Employee’s wife and four were made by a group of doctors who have taken a serious financial hit over the loss of the DML contract. Now these are unsubstantiated allegations in an e-mail and need to be independently verified, preferably by the MoH, as the DHBs have too much involvement in this. But it would not surprise me if it is true.
I found it a little odd that Ron Paterson would already have 13 complaints on his desk about Labtests. Normally, people complain directly to the company first and, if they don’t get a satisfactory answer, then to the HDC. In this case I would have expected some complaints going to the DHB as well. For 13 complaints to go immediately to the HDC smacks of vested interest to me. The HDC has no brief to investigate the complainant, only the complaint, so it would be a relatively safe thing to do. For Ron Paterson to comment on the complaints means that he has read through all 13. That means that all 13 complaints must have been sent within the first two weeks of Labtests starting. That is a highly unusual circumstance.
Note that in the case of doctors, all they would have had to do is omit the new Labtests number from their request form, for them to virtually guarantee that there would be a delay somewhere down the line, and possibly even a result sent to the wrong place.
And if you think that the medical powers that be are neutral about Labtests, witness this latest childish move from the Medical Council.
“New Zealand’s major doctors’ organisation claimed today that six of the pathologists listed on the under-fire Labtests’ website are not yet registered to practice here.
“The Medical Council urged Auckland’s new laboratory tests provider to be clear about the registration status of the pathologists on its website.
““They have applied for registration but haven’t had their final interview,” council chair John Campbell said in a statement to the New Zealand Doctor magazine.
““I think Labtests need to make it quite clear what the status of the people listed on their website is. The sooner that’s remedied, the better,” Professor Campbell said.”
Note this is merely on their (Labtests) website. These doctors are not working without registration. This is clearly a cheap shot at Labtests to further muddy its reputation. And, as usual, the media happily regurgitates it as news.