EDMONTON – Alberta Health Services has agreed to a one-year extension with Dynalife to continue to provide lab services for the Edmonton region into 2017.
According to the Edmonton Journal, exact terms of the deal were not released, but AHS said it is similar to Dynalife’s current contract, which is worth more than $130 million per year.
The deal is a stop-gap measure to March 31, 2017, buying time for the health authority to figure out a long-term lab services plan after Health Minister Sarah Hoffman (pictured) cancelled a controversial $3-billion initiative that would have seen virtually all of the region’s medical tests handled by one company.
“It was important to take immediate steps to ensure the people of Edmonton and central and northern Alberta continue to receive high-quality lab services,” AHS president Vickie Kaminski said in a written statement. “This agreement gives confidence to patients and healthcare providers that this very important healthcare service will continue without disruption.”
Dynalife currently performs about 17 million medical tests each year for AHS, representing around 55 percent of all tests in the capital region and northern Alberta. In Edmonton, it runs northern Alberta’s primary testing facility, along with 27 community collection sites.
However, the lease on that primary testing facility expires in 2017 with no opportunity for renewal.
That upcoming deadline prompted AHS to issue a request for proposals last year that would have provided a 15-year contract to one company to build a new super-lab facility and take over virtually all of the medical tests in the region.
Australian-based Sonic Healthcare won the bid for the deal, though an appeal submitted by Dynalife eventually found there were problems with the evaluation process. Hoffman cancelled the initiative and ordered a review, due in December, of all lab services province-wide to determine the right balance of public and private delivery.
Hoffman has said she is aware of the time pressures to get a plan in place and a new facility secured to handle a growing number of medical tests.