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  • Writer's pictureMLPAO

Media Release: Medical Laboratory Professionals Must be Included

HAMILTON ON (March 8, 2022): “Yesterday, Minister of Health Christine Elliott announced Ontario nurses will receive up to $5000 per person to encourage job retention.

It is extremely disappointing to hear yet another incentive for frontline healthcare workers during this pandemic that does not include medical laboratory professionals.

The Ontario government has asked lab professionals to keep working understaffed and be patient as they begin to understand how important labs are. Nothing has changed.

The Ontario government has asked lab professionals to give up vacation, work double shifts for 24 months, and give more than they could. In return they have been excluded from Temporary Pandemic Pay and now retention bonuses.

MLPAO has sent dozens of letters to Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Health Christine Elliott, MPPs, and Ministry representatives. Our requests for meetings go unanswered.

It is difficult not to interpret this lack of response as being too small of a voice to make a difference. With medical laboratory professionals making up just 10% the number of nurses (162,760), we cannot compete with that voting bloc.

The lab community is small, but we are the reason healthcare functions. We should not have to compete with our interprofessional partners. Medical laboratory professionals are more than instruments, they are people. Healthcare cannot exist without the lab.

As a result of the lack of acknowledgement, the mass exodus has already begun. 73% of medical laboratory professionals actively desire to leave the profession. Lab professionals are now required to ramp up and catch up with an estimated 20 million diagnostic tests, surgeries, and procedures doctors say will take years to clear. How long do you think this will last?

Healthcare funding decisions should be made based on the needs of Ontarians. Currently, it appears they are being made based on finalizing pending votes. We may be small, but we are essential and critical to the functioning of all healthcare services in Ontario. If retention bonuses are being paid, medical laboratory professionals must be included.”

- Michelle Hoad, CEO, Medical Laboratory Professionals’ Association of Ontario.

2022.03.08 Media Release - Medical Laboratory Professionals Overlooked Again
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