FREDERICTON (GNB) – New Brunswick’s medical laboratories will become part of an integrated clinical system to modernize and ensure the sustainability of laboratory services.

“We expect to be facing human resource challenges for laboratory medicine and we will likely also see an increased demand for testing,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch. “We also know New Brunswick’s laboratories need to be better connected to provide improved turnaround times, patient access to their own test results and reduce duplication of work. For these reasons, we are taking this step to ensure the best possible service for New Brunswick residents.”

The province’s primary reference lab will be located at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre. Access to laboratory services will continue to be offered at every hospital to ensure the clinical needs of each hospital are being met and quality patient care is being provided. The laboratory networks of both regional health authorities will work together as an integrated clinical laboratory system.

“Work to modernize laboratory services started before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the last three years have shown how necessary it is to ensure these services are available when needed,” Fitch said. “Creating an integrated laboratory system is an initiative under the provincial health plan, intended to stabilize and rebuild New Brunswick’s health-care system to be more citizen-focused, accessible, accountable, inclusive and service-oriented.”

Planning for the change is starting now and laboratory team members will have an opportunity to contribute to the project. The next steps in the process will include a physician workshop to assess clinical needs, and the establishment of working groups that will design a transportation system for lab samples and standardize terminology to update the laboratory information system. The two working groups will be established this fall.