Pathology scientists to go, union says

The Medical Scientists Association of Victoria says three senior scientists at a private pathology company’s Latrobe Regional Hospital laboratory will be made redundant.

The union said the scientists had a combined 60 years of experience.

“You need to have that level of skill, knowledge and experience to deal with complex cases,” MSAV executive officer Paul Elliott said.

“It takes 30 years to build up that level of knowledge. If you strip it out, it’s going to take 30 years to build it back up again.”

It would be the latest in a string of changes at Dorevitch Pathology’s LRH lab, with some components of the service shifted to Melbourne.

In July, the State Government revealed it had launched a review of the services contract between Dorevitch and the hospital to ensure all parties were meeting the terms of the contract and the community was receiving the best pathology services available.

Dorevitch Pathology chief executive Neville Moller said there had been “ongoing redundancies” because the company was moving parts of its business to Melbourne.

However, he could not provide clarification about the latest changes purported by the union.

He said there were pathologists medically qualified to supervise staff and there would be no change to the quality of service at Latrobe.

The union once again hit out at LRH, calling on management and the board to step in, saying the hospital had allowed “sub-standard” arrangements in the pathology lab, which would result in delays for tests and diagnoses.

LRH chief executive Peter Craighead said pathology staffing was a matter for Dorevitch.

“LRH has contracted Dorevitch to provide pathology services to the hospital and expects those services to be delivered to the highest standard,” Mr Craighead said.

“It is Dorevitch’s responsibility to ensure it has adequate staff resources to fulfil the terms of the contract with LRH.

“It’s disappointing Mr Elliott is again attacking our hospital as part of his industrial campaign.”