Christchurch medical lab finds new home

By Cassandra Mason

Southern Community Laboratories was forced to move out of Christchurch's CBD after the February earthquake. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Southern Community Laboratories was forced to move out of Christchurch's CBD after the February earthquake. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A $10 million laboratory is opening in Christchurch today after a "stressful" 18 months of temporary premises.

Southern Community Laboratories (SCL) lost its central city laboratory in the February earthquake, and has had to move four times since then.

Its new medical laboratory, on Logistics Drive near Christchurch Airport, will be opening this afternoon.

Chief Executive Peter Gootjes says the last 18 months have been tough.

"We kept moving and finding the building that we were in wasn't safe."

Employees were also split into several different buildings, complicating things further.

Mr Gootjes said the team had to "invent" new ways of doing things to cope with the disruption.

"We patched together a service that effectively worked pretty well but it was stressful.

"We did pretty well. It was a lot of work.

"It's really good to have one home."

Following the Christchurch District Health Board's decision to integrate SCL with Medlab South, they have also had the additional pressure of catering for twice the business.

"We ended up with Medlab South's business around Canterbury as well."

The new laboratory will be home to around 150 staff, Mr Gootjes said.

- nzherald.co.nz

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