INDEPENDENT Mark Rodda says NSW Health Pathology plans to cut a life-saving service at Tamworth Hospital.
But, NSW Health Pathology New England manager Neil Horton categorically denies any such plan.
"NSW Health Pathology is not reducing any staffing levels at our Tamworth service," he said.
"As the largest pathology provider in the New England area, we proudly employ a highly specialised team of over 50 people, including pathologists, scientists, technical assistance and collection centre staff."
Mr Horton confirmed changes have been made to the microbiology service over the last six months.
A small number of non-urgent microbiology tests like faecal cultures that require an incubation time of 48 hours are now performed in Newcastle.
"This allows our team of specialists to carry out all urgent tests, such as for meningitis, at our local Tamworth lab so patients get the treatment they need when they need it," Mr Horton said.
"We have recently invested in new equipment, including automated urinalysis equipment, to provide even faster and more reliable microbiology results for local clinicians and patients."
Scientists in the microbiology laboratory test for disease-causing bacteria and state election independent candidate Mark Rodda stands firm in his belief the unit will be cut from pathology services.
"NSW Pathology have decided to close-down a vital diagnostic service and send pathology specimens on an eight-hour road trip to Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital for processing," he said.
"This will ultimately mean delays to our sickest patients getting results from vital pathology tests that assist doctors to prescribe the right life-saving antibiotic treatment."
A new collection centre opened at the hospital at the start of the month.
It's open every day of the year and is the only public or private laboratory in the region with specialists in tissue pathology, that detects tumours, cancers and other conditions for patients using tissue samples.