Court decision to release reports on laboratory medicine services well reasoned, balanced says NLMA Executive Director

    ST. JOHN'S, Feb. 15 /CNW/ - Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association
(NLMA) Executive Director Robert Ritter today applauded a court ruling to
release reports on laboratory medicine services at Eastern Health.
    "The Justice Wayne Dymond's decision was well reasoned and balanced and,
we feel, upholds the principle of privilege as it relates to peer review under
the Evidence Act," said Mr. Ritter. "In fact, the court has rejected the
appeal because Eastern Health didn't comply with the requirements of the
Evidence Act. The reports were deemed to be neither peer review nor quality
assurance reports."
    Eastern Health had filed an application before the Trial Division of the
Supreme Court to have two reports prepared by external consultants examining
hormone receptor testing protected under the Evidence Act as peer review. The
Commission of Inquiry examining what went wrong with breast cancer tests
argued that the reports should be released to the Commission and to the
    "The evidence presented at the hearing and the court's subsequent ruling
all demonstrated an absence of clear policies and procedures by the
administrative authority of Eastern Health with respect to peer review and
quality assurance," said Mr. Ritter. "By its own admission, Eastern Health
needs to get its administrative house in order."
    Mr. Ritter said the NLMA is comforted by the court's remarks with respect
to the actions taken by physicians to determine the extent of the problem with
the hormone receptor tests and their leadership which led to the external
reviews being conducted.
    "The NLMA is looking forward to a full and thorough discussion of what
happened with hormone receptor testing at Eastern Health and believe the
release of the external reviews will aid in that discussion and lead to
improvements in the system," said Mr. Ritter.
    "We hope that the court's decision will provide some comfort to the
public who have felt inadequately informed throughout this process,"
Mr. Ritter concluded.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Lynn Barter, ABC, Director,
Communications and Public Affairs, Newfoundland and Labrador Medical
Association, (709) 726-7424, ext. 306, Cell: (709) 727-6153,

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