Newfoundland and Labrador’s biggest medical laboratories are in shambles, according to an external review conducted by Ontario’s University Health Network. The reviewers found “a lack of expertise in complex areas of testing,” plus low morale, suspicion, and distrust among staff. The review was prompted when doctors suspected Eastern Health’s labs were routinely underestimating the blood levels of a drug used after organ donations. The doctors were correct. A separate judicial inquiry into Eastern Health’s labs last year found that “practically non-existent” quality controls had failed hundreds of breast cancer patients between 1997 and 2005. Recommendations from the latest review include consolidating all testing at the hospital in St. John’s and recruiting staff with more expertise in several key areas.
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