A Halifax cardiologist is speaking up for Atlantic Blood Collection, a private clinic that collected blood work through home visits and private clinics that was shut down by Capital Health earlier this year.

For years Dr. Ron Gregor, a cardiologist with Capital Health, says he sent patients for blood work at private clinics run by the company.

He said he was surprised when Capital Health announced in May it will no longer accept blood samples from Atlantic Blood Collection because of concerns for patient safety and blood quality.

“For people that didn’t want to take a number and wait or for shut-ins especially, it seemed to be providing a good service,” said Gregor.

There were roughly 50 people who counted on home visits.

No error breakdown

Ronald Gregor

Dr. Ron Gregor said he was surprised when Capital Health announced in May it will no longer accept blood samples from Atlantic Blood Collection. (CBC)

Gregor wrote Capital Health and was told its acceptable error rate is five in 10,000 patients. Atlantic Blood's acknowledged error rate is much higher: five in 1,000 people. 

The company estimated it collected blood 27,000 times last year.

But Gregor says there’s a bigger issue Capital Health isn’t addressing. He said there was never a proper breakdown of the errors they made.

“I don’t know whether there were any samples that were mislabelled so that the wrong blood test was attributed to another wrong patient,” he said. “Because that would’ve been a serious error, whereas I think if you are a few minutes late, that seems to be a relatively minor thing.” 

Capital Health has cited delays in getting blood to the lab and sample size as among the most common errors private clinics make.

Atlantic Blood Collection still operates in Kentville, but blood collection services were cancelled at all of their 11 clinic locations and 10 employees lost their jobs.

Since the private clinic closures, Capital Health has extended hours at St. Margarets Bay and at the Bayers Road clinic.