Reprieve on SA Pathology Privatisation Plans – For Now

03 April 2019

The PwC Report released today recommended that SA Pathology not be privatised for 12-18 months.

The PSA told PwC last year that this was an inappropriate time to make any assessment as SA Pathology was experiencing systemic inefficiencies. PwC has now recommended that a period of 12-18 months be allowed to give SA Pathology the opportunity to achieve the savings prescribed in the 2018/2019 State Budget. Many changes imposed on the organisation with new software and capital investment had created these inefficiencies.

The PSA was invited to attend a confidential briefing this morning before the release of the report by the Minister for Health Hon. Stephen Wade. In a total lack of respect for the workforce, information had been leaked to the media and the Minister was heard on radio bemoaning the SA Pathology staff attitude towards efficiencies and saying that 200 FTE jobs were to go.

Members should be aware the PwC report does not specifically recommend a cut of 200 jobs. The issue of privatisation is still on the PwC table with a further review recommended in 12-18 months. The PSA will continue to vigorously oppose further cuts to SA Pathology and any attempts to privatise this important public service as it has consistently done in recent times.

No details have yet been released on how or when proposed cuts would occur. Current inefficiencies are largely systemic and SA Pathology staff are highly committed staff who support public pathology. Any cuts would inevitably increase delays and reduce service to patients. All proposed changes, including proposed changes to the services our members provide, need to be fully consulted before any implementation. This is required by Clause 34 of the South Australian Modern Public Sector Enterprise Agreement: Salaried 2017.

Members’ rights need to be protected in order for them to continue to provide this service which is so essential for the health of our community

A series of staff meetings will take place over the next two days. It has been agreed that a further round will occur once PSA members have had the opportunity to analyse the report and the Government’s recommendations.  The PSA will attend the staff meetings.

SA Health says it intends to work with the PSA and our members through this process. It is vital that members communicate concerns, issues and thoughts to Senior Industrial Officer Sue Cummins by email to


Spread the word – Talk to your colleagues and your family about the negative impact privatisation would have.

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