By Rob Gowan, The Owen Sound Sun Times
The Kincardine hospital’s outpatient lab services will be moved to the Kincardine Family Health Team beginning on Thursday.
Patients requiring blood work are being asked to attend the Hawthorne Community Clinic, which is located on the same property as the hospital. The move is part of the South Bruce Grey Health Centre’s Budget Recovery Action Plan, which was released in late January.
Earlier this year, the SBGHC released the plan, designed to address a projected $1.9-million deficit, by moving some services between sites, shifting some testing to outside labs and some reduction in staff.
The hospital does not receive funding for outpatient laboratory testing, so the decision was made to move the testing to the private community laboratory which is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Laboratory testing for inpatients and emergency patients will remain in the hospital, it said in a news release from SBGHC.
The change will allow laboratory staff to continue to collect samples from patients at the clinic, making for a relatively seamless transition for patients, the news release said.
The collected samples will be sent to Life Labs for processing, allowing patients to access their own lab results online through Life Labs.
Beginning Monday, outpatient collections will be available at the clinic 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday, with hours extended to 3:30 p.m. after April 1.
The Kincardine hospital is the first SBGHC site to make the transition, with transition dates for the Chesley, Durham and Walkerton hospital sites to be finalized in the coming weeks, the news release said.