Lab tests inform 80% of medical decisions yet a 2013 report by Chapter 11 of the Ontario Medical Association found that half of Ontario’s doctors report that the patients are not completing prescribed lab tests.
Despite the important role that screening and lab tests play in early diagnosis and the determination of effective treatment options, Ontario has failed to address fundamental concerns about essential community lab services.
Ontario is the only province that does not fund hospital lab services to the community.
Despite a growing population and an increased need for screening and diagnostic tests, Ontario today has 100 fewer laboratory service centres for patients than five years ago.
Ontario patients need and deserve a modernized medical laboratory testing system. An overhaul of our community lab system is needed if Patients are to get the best tests and take advantage of medical advancements.
A recent news article reported that blood test delays are putting newborn babies at unnecessary risk because of the risk of slower diagnosis.
Arbitrary caps and the allocation of fixed market share to large lab conglomerates eliminate incentives to improve patient service or to introduce innovative new tests.
Despite growing need, Ontario recently announced a cut in funding for lab services and did not commit to modernization and reform that will include patient engagement.
Ontario patients call on the Government to take action now:
- Establish public transparency and stronger oversight of Ontario’s medical laboratory services. Ontario needs a Lab Commissioner.
- Enable the adoption of new tests and evaluation of best practices in test utilization and reporting of results.
- Provide a modernized governance and payment model for lab services to promote innovation and improvements to patient service.
- Improve access and timeliness of tests, particularly for patients in rural and remote communities.
- Embrace non-profit service providers and community hospitals as partners in the delivery of laboratory testing as they are in other provinces.
- Improve efficiency, integrating testing service between hospitals, public health and community labs.