Microbiology decision due Monday

Feasibility of centralization of lab testing subject of three-month-old review

  • May. 3, 2011 11:00 a.m.

The fate of lab services at Campbell River Hospital will likely be decided next Monday, nearly three months after a review into the feasibility of centralizing lab testing for bacterial infections was conducted.

Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) requested three microbiologists look into the consequences and advantages of removing microbiology lab services, which help diagnose infections such as meningitis, out of both the Campbell River and Nanaimo hospitals.

The review was conducted the second week of February, with doctors visiting medical staff at Campbell River hospital Feb. 11. At the time, VIHA said it expected the results of that review to come back within a few weeks but the timeline quickly changed to a couple of months.

Val Wilson, spokesperson for VIHA, stressed the process was not delayed.

“We anticipate receiving a written report from the reviewers soon,” said Wilson.

But Dr. Aref Tabarsi, director of lab services at Campbell River hospital, said on May 9 the reviewers, VIHA executives and senior medical staff from both hospitals will hold a teleconference and a decision will be made at that time.

Tabarsi said he is concerned it has taken so long to hear back but realizes it is out of VIHA’s hands as to when the reviewers will come back with their report.

“I personally don’t want to be too optimistic but I would be very, very surprised if the reviewers recommend centralization to Victoria, based on the conversations our medical staff had with the reviewers when they were here,” said Tabarsi. “Going by what they shared with us, I think it (centralization) would be unlikely but I can’t be sure.”

Tabarsi said there is a good possibility not all three reviewers will be of the same opinion, making VIHA’s decision even harder.

“The reviewers will set the tone and what they say will carry quite a bit of weight but it doesn’t mean that it will be final,” said Tabarsi. “The worst case scenario is all three reviewers will say centralization is not harmful to the patient and we in Campbell River would have a hard time fighting that, especially since we picked one of them. It would put us in an awkward position.”

Tabarsi and other medical staff have fought to keep microbiology lab services in Campbell River hospital since last spring when VIHA announced it planned to shut down those services in Campbell River and Nanaimo to save costs.

After medical staff in Campbell River and Nanaimo argued that removing local lab services would impact patients, VIHA ordered a review. Tabarsi maintains the integrity of a sample could be compromised during transport to Victoria, causing it to produce inaccurate results.

He said it’s unlikely VIHA will move towards centralization but if it does happen, VIHA can expect strong opposition from medical staff here.







Just Posted

Campbell River Hamper Fund needs help reaching goal as well as putting hampers together

The Knights of Columbus is grateful to the community for its response… Continue reading

Campbell River school trustees want review of school closure effects

Board only wants information and is not reconsidering closure decisions

Strathcona Regional District awards contract for new arena ice system

Strathcona Gardens will use temporary Freon system for Arena 2 for rest of season

Hydro issues warning to stay away from upstream side of Elk Falls Dec. 13-14

BC Hydro will be increasing the Elk Falls Canyon water flow from… Continue reading

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read