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Health and Community Services
August 31, 2009

Province Assessing Laboratory and X-ray Services

The Provincial Government has begun an examination on how laboratory and X-ray services are provided and is making changes to streamline and improve services. Today, the Honourable Paul Oram, Minister of Health and Community Services, announced that as part of this assessment, and recent infrastructure investments, there will be modifications in the future delivery of laboratory and X-ray services in Lewisporte and Flower�s Cove.

"The new construction and redevelopment of healthcare facilities in these communities have resulted in programming changes," said Minister Oram.  "Overall, we�re taking a look at laboratory and X-ray services in the province to determine the next steps to further improve quality and service delivery in Newfoundland and Labrador."

In Budget 2009: Building on Our Strong Foundation, the Provincial Government invested $5 million for site infrastructure and to redevelop the long-term care home in Lewisporte. $500,000 will be invested to continue planning of a new $9 million health centre in Flower�s Cove.

Residents in the Flower�s Cove area requiring laboratory or X-ray work will access these services at the Curtis Memorial Hospital in St. Anthony, while those in the Lewisporte area will access services at the James Paton Memorial Hospital in Gander and the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor. Blood collection services will continue in Flower�s Cove and Lewisporte. The effective date of this change will be announced later in the fall. The new Flower�s Cove health centre will also operate on a 12-hour basis.

"This change in service delivery will occur over time," said Minister Oram. "The intent of the provincial assessment process is to build upon the strong healthcare foundation we have in this province. Also, to ensure a strong healthcare system tomorrow, we need to take the steps today to keep us on course."

Budget 2009 provides an additional $21.4 million to further enhance laboratory services in the province. This investment builds upon the $54.3 million invested since 2007. In keeping with the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry on Hormone Receptor Testing, the Provincial Government is also moving forward with implementing recommendations regarding laboratory accreditation.

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Media contact:
Ronalda Walsh
Director of Communications
Department of Health and Community Services
709-729-1377, 685-1741

2009 08 31                                                    1:45 p.m.

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