VICTORIA – Health Minister Terry Lake today introduced Bill 7, the Laboratory Services Act, which sets a framework to strengthen and standardize B.C.’s clinical laboratory system.

“The Laboratory Services Act will strengthen accountability and improve health care for patients, while saving hard-earned taxpayer dollars,” said Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, Chair of the Select Standing Committee on Health. “My colleague Minister Lake has taken a big step towards improving lab services and the long-term sustainability of health care in our province.”

This legislation allows the provincial government to streamline and integrate the system to take advantage of emerging and improving medical technologies, which will keep lab services sustainable and cost-effective. It focuses on patient-centred care and follows the ‘triple aim approach’ of improving patient outcomes, improving patient experiences and getting best value for the dollar.

The Act enables government to improve patient services and ensure resources are deployed efficiently and where they are most needed. It also provides authority for the Minister of Health to enter into agreements with service providers to provide greater cost certainty.

By moving all laboratory services under one piece of legislation, the B.C. Government is strengthening governance, accountability, audit, benefits and billing of the services we provide.

Today’s announcement is the first phase of setting the framework for moving, strengthening and standardizing our lab services. Over the next three years, the B.C. Government will implement these changes and continue to consult with stakeholders to ensure changes are made with the best interests of patients and taxpayers in mind.