AUSTRALIAN Clinical Laboratory wants to withdraw its pathology laboratory service from Stawell Regional Health.
The review proposes to change the service model, citing that the current model is not sustainable.
The review means the laboratory testing service would be transferred from Stawell to Horsham.
Stawell Regional Health acting chief executive Kate Pryde said in light of the review, the hospital had reviewed the pathology services the community required.
"We were approached by Australian Clinical Laboratory and were told the laboratory service was not sustainable for them," she said.
Ms Pryde said it was important the community understood that Stawell was not losing a clinical service.
"A lot of blood gets couriered around the state all of the time," she said.
"Bloods which are taken from patients within the community would be sent to Horsham under the proposal.
"The biggest impact would be the hospital itself, not individual patients."
Ms Pryde said Stawell Regional Health would go to tender for pathology services.
"We are going to go to the market and see what is available and who wants to come and do our pathology," she said.
"We feel the right move for the Stawell community - and their needs is to go to tender, which we will do very quickly.
"People might not realise the service is separate from the hospital. It's integral to the hospital, but we don't have any control over them. It's a separate business entity."
If laboratory services were to cease at Stawell Regional Health, Ms Pryde said practises would have to change.
"There have been suggestions we wouldn't have a blood bank or blood on site - that's not true," she said.
"I can't speak for what a new model could like look, because we have to take it to tender - and ideally someone will come in and say they will come in and take over the lab.
"On-site lab provisions will definitely be in our tender."
In a written response to the Stawell Times-News, Australian Clinical Labs said the organisation was continuing to work with Stawell Regional Health regarding the ongoing viability of the laboratory at the hospital.
"Alternative pathology service models are being considered and Clinical Labs understands Stawell Regional Health intends to tender for this service," the statement read.
"In the interim, pathology services remain unchanged. Local clinicians will continue to get patient pathology results as they currently do and patients will see no changes to their current service levels."
Australian Clinical Laboratory said it had completed an assessment and identified to operate a financially viable lab that offers a safe service to patients.
Pathology companies require a minimum number of patients, or pathology episodes, to be conducted at a hospital or health service.
"Under current arrangements, Stawell laboratory does not meet the minimum requirements to support a pathology laboratory onsite," the statement read.
"The rate paid to pathology services companies operating in the hospital system is determined by the Commonwealth Medical Schedule, which then translates to the amount paid by state health services.
"The rate paid for each pathology sample has continued to decrease over the past 20 years and a small pathology service cannot remain financially viable if the fee paid for each test decreases to that extent.
"The payment is less than the cost to provide the services. Clinical Labs, as a private company, cannot continue to cover the financial loss this service delivers - which is in the order of $450,000 per annum."
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