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Lifelabs allowed to fail Ontarians
Lifelabs : un échec pour les Ontarien-nes

Why is LifeLabs Allowed to Continually Fail Ontario’s Patients?

December 6, 2022

During question period MPP France Gélinas (Nickel Belt) asked the Minister of Health, whether LifeLabs is providing good service to Ontario’s patients?

“Linda Luyt from Sudbury is an endometrial cancer survivor. She requires annual PAP tests by her oncology team. She had her test done on October 18. Usually, it takes 3 sometimes up to 6 weeks for the results to come in, but last week, when she called her doctor, she was told results are now taking 6 months to come in.

Minister is 6 months an acceptable amount of time to wait for a cancer diagnostic test result?’’

A recent report from the CBC shows that women across Ontario are waiting months for results from PAP tests. The Medical Laboratory Professionals’ Association of Ontario confirms that private for profit laboratories are short-staffed.

“When cancer patients must wait six months for test results it often means much more intensive and expensive treatments as well as increased risk of harm. Ontario laboratory services are now dominated by LifeLabs, a private for-profit company. In my riding LifeLabs offers terrible customer service. They let frail elderly people wait outside in minus 20 weather, they have minimum staffing, minimum hours of operation and huge delays for test results.

Does the Minister agree that privatization, of our lab services, has made services worst?”

In her 2017 report Ontario’s Auditor General stated there was no provincial target, data collection or monitoring of wait times for laboratory services. She also stated that laboratory service providers set their own wait-time targets.