Genomics lab quality questioned/eastern heal

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Genomics lab quality questioned/eastern heal,Health Minister Jerome Kennedy raised questions about the quality of a private genetics lab that shut down several months ago. Newfound Genomics has blamed the government for shutting the St. Johns-based company out of lucrative medical testing.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government has shed light on an ongoing dispute with a privately owned genetics lab that shut its doors late last year.

But, he said, as Eastern Health and the company started to discuss other tests, it became clear that Newfound Genomics did not have the capacity to do them properly. Howell said the company did not have the expertise to meet necessary quality standards to guarantee patient safety.

But Health Minister Jerome Kennedy, questioned Tuesday in the house of assembly, revealed that government had had concerns about the quality of work that Newfound Genomics could provide.

Parsons noted that Newfound Genomics was cited as having the necessary qualifications, experience and abilities to handle the work.

As well, Kennedy told the legislature, They were concerned about the ability of this company to meet the quality and safety standards as a stand-alone organization and vendor, and thirdly, that this request for start-up funding was not a typical relationship with a vendor.

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Buteastern health authority Kennedy revealed that Eastern Health had several concerns, including a demand in November 2010 that the authority make an upfront payment to Newfound Genomics.

Why are hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical testing going to labs outside this province when there are fully accredited labs, staffed by fully qualified technicians, here in this province? Parsons asked.

Liberal critic Kelvin Parsons raised the issue, arguing that Eastern Health may have helped kill Newfound Genomics by iling to hire it for medical testing.

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Police say alcohol may have been a ctor in a tal car crash near the eastern Newfoundland community in the St. Marys Bay area MGenomics lab quality questioned/eastern healonday afternoon. more

Kennedy referred further questions to Eastern Health and declined to give specific details to reporters.

Oscar Howell, Eastern Healths vice-president of medical services, told CBC News that the authoritys initial contract with Newfound Genomics applied only to one specific medical test, which the company was qualified to do.

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