Braid: Hospital laundry goes private; community lab testing is next

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The testing service is so jammed up right now that it’s almost impossible to get a lab appointment anywhere in Calgary before early December. Edmonton has the same problem, all due to COVID-19.

Seventy per cent of Edmonton and northern community testing is done by a private company, Dynalife.

Calgary’s testing system is publicly owned and operated under the wing of Alberta Precision Laboratories.

This has always seemed counter-political — Edmonton with the private health service and Calgary with the public one.

But almost all community tests will be private by 2022 unless the UCP backs off, which seems unlikely.

It was fascinating to see a surprise participant at the Calgary Airport Thursday for a big announcement.

Jason Pincock, CEO of Dynalife Photo by Shaughn Butts / Postmedia

Jason Pincock, CEO of Dynalife, said his company was proud to do some COVID-19 testing for Canadians and eligible foreign nationals.

His company will handle voluntary paid tests — $150 each — for departing travellers. Arrivals will get free tests courtesy of AHS. 

“Our new COVID testing protocol helps address the immediate need for essential travel while building a scalable platform to the return to normal air travel,” Pincock said.

It was almost as if Dynalife was being introduced to Calgary.

Government health officials have great respect for Dynalife, although they can’t come right out and say the company is favoured for takeover of all community testing.

Dynalife has been a political football in recent years. In 2014 the old PC government wanted to contract an Australian company to replace it, but finally did not.

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