Govt, pathology providers in talks

PATHOLOGY providers are putting aside their differences with the Gillard Government over the deregulation of collection centres as they begin month-long negotiations aimed at saving budget dollars without hurting the industry.

The negotiations come after an Opposition motion to disallow Labor’s deregulation of pathology collection centre numbers failed in the Senate last week by just one vote.

Shortly before the failed disallowance motion, Sonic Healthcare CEO Dr Colin Goldschmidt told MO there were “far too many collection centres” after deregulation led to over 1000 new centres opening in just eight months, but declined to comment further due to the start of negotiations with government.

Despite casting the deciding vote against the motion, citing satisfaction with increased market competition as the result of the laws, independent Senator Nick Xenophon said he would work to ensure separate legislation currently before parliament