Call to Action: Investing in Laboratory Health Human Resources
Ontario is experiencing a rapidly accelerating shortage of medical laboratory technologists (MLTs).
According to the CDC, 70% of medical decisions rely on laboratory results. Medical laboratories impact all aspects of patient care, from emergency rooms to family medicine to mental health. Every sample—COVID-19 swabs taken in pharmacies, blood drawn in doctor’s offices, tumors extracted during surgery—is processed and analyzed by an MLT.
Human health resources shortages mean delays in turnaround times, lengthened hospital stays, and duplicate appointments with family doctors. Without intervention, ongoing MLT shortages could cost taxpayers over $1.6 billion dollars annually and negatively impact patient health.
Join us! Take action now to support medical laboratory professionals.
3-Phase Approach - $6.2M over 4 years
We are calling on the Ontario government to invest in our people and our labs immediately.
We propose the following:
Phase 1 – 2022-2025: Laboratory Externship Program – $3.6M (total over 3 years)
Clinical placements (externship) are a major roadblock for both laboratories and training programs, making this a target area to alleviate MLT shortages. Labs are not able to take on students due to their staffing shortage. Schools are not able to take on more students due to lack of externships. This funding is needed immediately.
Phase 2 – 2023-2026: Northern Health Program - Laboratory - $2.6M (total over 3 years)
Rural and remote areas are most impacted by this shortage, necessitating a targeted recruitment and retention strategy to support healthcare in these communities.
Phase 3 – 2024: Develop Ontario Simulation Laboratory
Further research currently being conducted to determine capital investment required.
The following hospitals, associations, laboratories, and organizations support this Call to Action.