SA Pathology to Remain in Public Ownership

22 Apr 2020
SA Pathology to Remain in Public Ownership

The Marshall Liberal Government has announced that SA Pathology will remain in public ownership given the organisation’s vastly improved performance and clear commitment to quality care, innovation and sustainability.

“SA Pathology has stepped up to the plate during the coronavirus pandemic and provided South Australians with a world class COVID-19 testing service that has reduced the spread of the virus and saved lives,” said Premier Steven Marshall.

“On coming to Government, we set SA Pathology the task of delivering high-quality pathology services that represented good value for the people of South Australia. I’m pleased to say they have delivered in spades.

“I want to thank their clinical lead Dr Tom Dodd, business lead Mark McNamara, and all the staff for the manner they have approached this important improvement to South Australia’s health system.

“SA Pathology has become an organisation of international standing in the manner it has implemented the State Government’s strong plan to counter the coronavirus pandemic.”

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the improvement in SA Pathology’s performance was a testimony to the shared commitment of the whole team to the reform needed to deliver the highest quality of pathology services in a sustainable way.

“SA Pathology’s performance during the coronavirus pandemic has been outstanding and highlights the quality of the team and the significant improvements they were delivering well before COVID-19 emerged,” said Minister Wade.

“SA Pathology has demonstrated that it is an organisation of international standing in the manner it has implemented the State Government’s strong plan to counter the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the refreshed leadership, SA Pathology has delivered on the cost reduction target of $7.3m and is well on the way to delivering a year two cost reduction target of $18m.
Services levels have also either been maintained, or improved. For example, on-time delivery for time critical diagnostics rose from 66% to 90%.

“I have no doubt that the renewal of SA Pathology before the emergence of COVID-19 meant that SA Pathology was well positioned to respond in a world-class way,” Minister Wade said.

“Twelve months ago, the State Government gave SA Pathology a year to demonstrate that it could provide the high-quality services South Australians needed at a cost commensurate with that of the rest of the nation.

“SA Pathology has met each of the markers put in place by the State Government and is now delivering exceptional value for money to South Australian taxpayers.

“Even before the World Health Organisation urged countries to test, test, test for COVID-19, SA Pathology was delivering a testing program that was as good, if not better, than any organisation in the world.

“SA Pathology showed its innovative spirit by testing respiratory specimens for COVID-19 and introduced the world’s second drive-through clinic.

“South Australia has led the nation in terms of the number of tests undertaken and our testing rate is among the highest in the world.”