Blood work wait times increasing after clinic closures
Wait times follow closure of 11 clinics operated by Atlantic Blood Collection
The wait for blood work appears to be growing at hospitals and dozens of other clinics in the Halifax Regional Municipality.
One month ago, 11 clinics operated by Atlantic Blood Collection were abruptly closed by the Capital District Health Authority for failing to meet its standard.
In May, the health authority said the decision came after months of questions about the quality of the work. Officials said there were concerns samples were too small and were taking too long to be transported to hospital.
At the Dartmouth General Hospital, a blood test these days takes at least one to two hours.
“I take a lot of people here to get their blood work done and yes, they are having longer waiting periods and they aren't happy with it,” said Judy LaPierre, a volunteer driver for seniors. “It would be nice if they came right into the buildings.”
In addition to increased wait times, independent contractor Darrell Lundrigan said demand for house calls has gone up as well. Lundrigan said he is twice as busy with home visits but won't be able to continue.
He said he recently applied with Capital Health to hire staff but they denied the request.
“I have to turn people away and that’s sad when you have to do that,” he said.
Capital Health officials said they are recruiting staff to provide service during the evening hours at their Bayers Road location and hope to add new sites in Dartmouth and Spryfield.
When CBC News asked Shauna Thompson, director of laboratory medicine for Capital Health, about whether independent blood collectors could extend their services, she said she was uncertain.