A new service agreement with Alberta Health Services, DynaLIFE and Alberta Precision Laboratories was finalized yesterday on June 1, enabling the last stage in the transition.

"A little over three years ago, we promised Albertans that we would strengthen our publicly funded health system and one way we committed to do that was to look for efficiencies within our laboratory testing system," said Health Minister Copping. "Beginning December 5, DynaLIFE will begin providing lab services in communities throughout the province."

According to the province, about 65 per cent of provincial lab work (50 million tests per year) – is generated within the community. To meet this need, DynaLIFE Medical Labs will operate patient service centres and mobile collection facilities in urban centres and large rural communities including Airdrie, Calgary, Cochrane, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Fort McMurray, Fort Saskatchewan, Grande Prairie, among others.

"This contract will create efficiencies and cost savings between 18 to 36 million dollars a year. Every dollar we save will stay in the system to do more services. For Albertans. I want to be really clear because it's true for everything we're doing in the health system. It's not about doing more with less. It's about doing more with more," Minister Copping stated. 

The Minister also addressed concerns about whether employees at Alberta Precision Laboratories would be seeing job cuts and downsizing.

"There will be no job losses.DynaLIFE has agreed to employ all unionized, non-unionized and medical, and scientific staff under the same or similar employment terms," he said. "We need a comprehensive highly efficient lab system, one that combines the strength of a single publicly funded healthcare system and a range of providers. This change supports the aim and building capacity and providing better service for Alberta patients."

According to Mauro Chies, the interim president and CEO of Alberta Health Services, contracting of high-volume community and non-urgent, routine hospital lab work will allow Alberta Precision Laboratories to focus on serving the laboratory needs of 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," he said.

DynaLIFE will upgrade and expand patient service centres in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Fort McMurray, Leduc, Okotoks, Strathmore and Cochrane, and improvements will be forthcoming at the Calgary and Edmonton hub lab testing facilities.

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

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