‘Superlab’ cancellation creating delays for patients: lab staff
Published Wednesday, July 24, 2019 6:07AM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 24, 2019 6:43PM MDT
A group of medical professionals is expressing concern about the provincial government's decision to scrap plans for the Edmonton Laboratory Clinical Hub, known as the “Superlab.”
The NDP government started building the $590 million facility near the University of Alberta in March. The plan was to move five medical labs in the city under one roof.
Las month, the UCP stopped construction on the project, the UCP stopped construction on the project, arguing the new lab would not improve patient services.
Members of The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science met Tuesday night to discuss the resulting challenges.
“Some common things that came up during the discussion was the desperate need to help address and fix crumbling infrastructure in labs,” CSMLS Director Joel Rivero said.
The CSMLS said the challenges include finding space to house equipment without overheating, and delays resulting from sending samples to multiple locations, including out of province, to be tested.
“The current shortage is already having an impact in rural and remote communities across the province,” CSMLS CEO Christine Nielson said. “Compounded with the decision not to proceed with this new site, the problem will only grow.”
Health Minister Tyler Shandro dismissed the group’s concerns.
“…I want to be clear: to claim our labs are “crumbling” is politically motivated, and to claim that patients are at risk is irresponsible,” Shandro said, in a statement to CTV News.
The CSMLS is calling on the government to invest in new infrastructure, to address the concerns.
Shandro’s statement also says “there certainly are needs for investment in labs in Edmonton and I’m working to identify priorities as we prepare for the budget in the fall.”
The CSMLS is the national certifying body for medical laboratory technologists and medical laboratory assistants.