SA Pathology Sustainability Project Update | Cuts Proposals

29 January 2019

The Department has established the SA Pathology Project. This follows last September’s State Budget where Treasurer Rob Lucas demanded cuts of $25 million in the next financial year and an additional $45million by 2022 and threatened if there was not a reduction in the costs, set against undefined benchmarks, this vital public service would be privatised.

The PSA strongly opposes cuts and privatisation of SA Pathology and will continue to campaign for high quality public provision of pathology services to support the best health diagnosis for the SA Community. Investment in good and early diagnosis can save money in other parts of the health system allowing for targeted and preventative care.

SA Pathology Executive Director, Dr Glenn Edwards has released a paper to staff that outlines a number of proposals to cut costs (here).

The PSA is keen to hear from members about the implications of these proposals. Please submit suggestions, questions, concerns or comments to PSA by email.

The cost cutting proposals being canvassed in the paper are:

1. Consolidation of Services
Consolidating Chemical Pathology, GMP and Immunology to the Frome St sooner than planned.

2. Business delivery model
Using automation and EPLIS differently.

3. Workforce Profile
The Department is considering proposals such as restructures, change in staff mix, review of roles etc. and has stated that “nothing is out of scope”. This could also mean job cuts, changes to shift arrangements etc.

4. LHN business Improvement

5. Cost consciousness
Staff have identified ways that costs could be cut which are being examined by management.

6. Transfer of Business
Shifting costs of roles that do not support Pathology to the appropriate agency.

In addition there are future ideas proposed which are significant. The PSA will continue to keep abreast of these proposals and push for more detail.

There is also a concern that as part of this process there may be consideration of increased costs to the public and a reduction in the number and type of pathology tests available through SA Pathology.