Clinical Laboratories in Ireland Will Soon Undergo Nationwide Restructuring

Irish health service plans to downsize and shut some pathology laboratories while building two or three new stand-alone clinical laboratories

DUBLIN, IRELAND—Pathology testing and clinical laboratories in Ireland will soon be involved in a major project to overhaul the entire system of laboratory medicine in this country of 4.5 million people. Today, your Dark Daily editor wraps up a week-long visit to medical laboratories in Dublin and the pending reorganization of clinical laboratories is a major topic among pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists.

Last year, Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) issued a press release announcing the program to modernize the nation’s clinical laboratory service. The plan specifies that some pathology laboratories will be downsized or closed as regional laboratory testing networks are developed. Another major element in the plan is the creation of two or three “cold” laboratories—what North American laboratory professionals would recognize as a stand-alone clinical laboratory facility providing routine testing to general practice clinics—to serve this segment of the Irish healthcare system.