We look forward to helping you in 2011

(Inside Aotea, February 2011)

Dr Karen Wood, Wellington SCL, Chief Executive

Happy new year, and if this is your first visit to Wellington SCL -- welcome. We look forward to helping you with your medical needs in 2011.

This year is a milestone for us because our contract with the district health boards was due to expire this October but has now been extended to October 2014.

That’s great news for us and for you, too! It gives us the certainty to more clearly plan for the future to put in place measures to improve the way we work with you and your doctor.

We see that certainty being helpful for you in two key ways.

  • Firstly, we are now more attractive as a place to work for medical staff. Employing world-class staff -- pathologists and laboratory scientists and technicians -- is hugely important to us. Top quality staff means top quality service for you; and being able to provide employment security is a good way to attract and hold on to good staff.
  • Secondly, the three-year, $75 million contract extension guarantees us funding that we can use to further our continuous improvement programme. It is difficult to plan for, and invest in, the future when the future is uncertain. Last year we introduced several significant technological and process improvements. We look forward to implementing more improvements over the next three years.

In more good news, our private patients will be pleased to hear that -- from 1 November this year -- they will no longer have to pay for most tests ordered by private specialists. 

A change in government policy means district health boards pick up the tab for most privately-referred tests. Your doctor will be able to tell you which tests this policy applies to.

It is, then, a positive start to 2011 for Wellington SCL.

We look forward to sharing that spirit of positivity with you all when you come to see us. Best wishes for the coming year.