Health service forced to spend $750,000 to get to where they started

Portland District Health was forced to spend $750,000 on a tender process for a new pathology provider that resulted in the board’s original suggestion being accepted.

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell raised the unnecessary spend in Parliament.

“The board knew from day one they could be added to the existing contract South west Health Care has with Dorevitch Pathology,” Ms Britnell said.

“But the Department of Health insisted on a full tender process.

“$750,000 and countless weeks later, the board was advised it could indeed join the South West Healthcare contract – exactly what they had proposed in the first place.

“What’s even more appalling about this is that the Department has then had the gall to accuse the hospital board of poor financial control – when in fact it is their one size fits all processes that are forcing them to spend money that didn’t need to be spent – and this is just one example.”

Ms Britnell said she understand the need to ensure taxpayers are getting good value for money and the need for open tender processes.

“But this is a situation where there are a limited number of pathology providers servicing regional areas a great option on the table that involved an existing contract and increased service sharing between two health services,” she said.

“There needs to be some flexibility so that the process aimed at making sure taxpayers are getting good value for money doesn’t end up costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“There is still a way to transparently do this without spending $750,000 to end up exactly where you started.”

Ms Britnell said she was concerned with the Health service board now filled with people who aren’t local and have little connection or knowledge of the local area that more of this type of waste would occur.

“When making decisions like this about a unique local health service like Portland District Health, local knowledge is vital,” she said.

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