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Alberta announces changes to provincial lab services

A stock photo showing a professional working in a labratory. (Getty Images) A stock photo showing a professional working in a labratory. (Getty Images)

Canadian company DynaLIFE Medical Labs will be taking over non-urgent laboratory services throughout Alberta this winter in a move the province says will result in significant cost savings.

The provincial government made the announcement on Thursday, saying the new service agreement between Alberta Health Services (AHS) DynaLIFE and Alberta Precision Laboratories will take effect on Dec. 5.

The change will see DynaLIFE operate patient service centres and mobile collection facilities in urban centres and large rural communities including Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Fort McMurray, Fort Saskatchewan, Grande Prairie, Brooks, Lloydminster, Camrose, Airdrie, Cochrane, Okotoks, Strathmore, Leduc, Sherwood Park, Spruce Grove and St. Albert.

DynaLIFE will also upgrade and expand patient service centres in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Fort McMurray, Leduc, Okotoks, Strathmore and Cochrane.

Alberta Precision Laboratories, a subsidiary of AHS, will continue to provide lab services in small rural and remote communities, operate labs in acute care hospitals and offer specialized provincial testing.

"Contracting high-volume community and non-urgent, routine hospital lab work will allow Alberta Precision Laboratories to focus on serving the laboratory needs of our acute care hospitals, along with the specialized testing, research and innovation that is critical to the future of health care in areas such as genetics and genomics, transfusion and transplantation medicine, molecular pathology and public health testing and surveillance," said AHS interim president and CEO Mauro Chies.

Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping says the change will save the province somewhere between $18 million and $36 million per year, which can be reinvested into the health system.

"Partnering with DynaLIFE is an innovative solution that will advance laboratory medicine over the long term and build on the success of our current lab system, which is recognized as one of the best in North America," he said. "This agreement expands capacity and saves Albertans money while securing the existing jobs of all our lab workers."

In reaction to the announcement, NDP Health Critic David Shepherd said Albertans would have more testing capacity "if the UCP had focused on strengthening and investing in our public healthcare system."

"Instead, they continue to undermine it by diverting public dollars to profitable companies and their shareholders,” he said. Top Stories

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