Issue Date: November 15, 2020
Proposal Due: November 29, 2020
Medical Laboratory Professionals' Association of Ontario is a non-profit health professional organization founded in 1963 with more than 3400 members and growing across the province. The MLPAO represents the interests of Medical Laboratory Professionals (Medical Laboratory Technologists -MLTs and Medical Laboratory Technicians/Assistants- MLA/Ts) with government, regulatory bodies, educational institutions, health care professions and other stakeholders.
The shortage of Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLTs) in Ontario is a multifaceted issue, with several causes and complicating factors. With the closure of 7 programs back in the 90s, and a growing population of over 14.5M people in Ontario, the number of MLTs has not matched the demand for testing for several years now. This has been made more urgent by the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Clinical placements, the portion of MLT programs where students finalize their training in a professional laboratory environment, have also been identified as a primary bottleneck. The MLPAO is positioned to register and connect many intersecting concerns within the field. We hear from educators that they are having difficulties finding clinical placements for students. We also hear from employers that it can be difficult to commit resources to training in laboratories which are already understaffed.
The MLPAO has been investigating the MLT shortage over the past 2 years. Stakeholder meetings in 2018 lead to an Environmental Scan in 2019 which interviewed stakeholders and explored frameworks to address recruitment, retention, and retirement challenges. This has also been a focus of our lobbying efforts with the Ontario Provincial Government.
Our next step is a research project focusing on solutions for clinical placements, and we are soliciting proposals for researchers. This individual will interview stakeholders about challenges with clinical placements and develop a proposal for how to move forward. The ensuing report would be presented to the provincial government for immediate action to affect the future of clinical placements in Ontario.
Click here to read the RFP Document: