CEO of Colac Area Health Fiona Brew said the tender process was currently being undertaken.
"The new model commenced yesterday as we were notified about three weeks ago that the lab onsite would close. What that means is that we still have a collection centre onsite so our community can still come and have their blood or pathology taken, and that gets sent off to labs at Barwon or Clayton. Now some of that is still the same, that was happening before. But it just means now that all specimens will be going offsite.
"In terms of care for our community, accessing care and urgent care or as an in-patient, it's now called point-of-care testing. So the medical staff and nursing staff have been working around designing the tests that we need to have onsite and that's now been established.
"It will be going out for tender, we're currently working through a tender process to go to market. We're also looking at the ability for us to deal with some other hospitals as well, to really increase our market footprint in that place. Point-of-care testing is not where we want to be, we do want to aim to have our own lab onsite. It's too early to say [who will fill tender], and it's really important when you do a tender like this that the specifications are very clear.
Ms Brew said no options were being dismissed when asked about the possibility to utilise the Camperdown facilities.
"Nothing is off the table. But it's a different provider and we absolutely need to go through due diligence process and all the rest of it. That's what we're doing at the moment. The reality of it is we want to make sure we continue to provide a really good service to our community. How it's happened and what we're having to do isn't our first choice, but it is what it is. Health changes all the time. The staff and our medical staff have been fantastic in engaging in this process, getting us where we need to be. But we need to look beyond what we're currently doing and the future."