Ontario facing potential labour shortage in the laboratory by 2025
Toronto, ON, March 5, 2018. “46% of medical laboratory professionals are eligible to retire in the next 5-8 years” says Robert Scheuermann, President of the Ontario Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists (OSMT).*
Medical Laboratory professionals include Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLTs) and Assistants/Technicians (MLA/Ts). They serve in urban and rural settings in the public and private sectors. Hospitals, physicians' offices, diagnostic labs, fertility clinics and specimen collection centers all require the services of these professionals. They process and analyze over ½ million laboratory tests each day in Ontario.
“Health care is more than doctors and nurses” says Michelle Hoad, Executive Director of the OSMT. “There are over 7,000 MLTs and 20,000 MLA/Ts that service Ontario residents. Most of the decisions that a doctor makes is based on laboratory results. The future of healthcare in Ontario should include the needs of the laboratory.”
The OSMT has launched their 2018 awareness campaign named “Labfacts” to make the public aware of these shortages: https://youtu.be/bN-lnsyEShY.
Mr. Scheuermann states that with the impending retirements there aren’t enough laboratory professionals moving up the career stream due to the shortage of clinical placements. “There are people interested in the profession but there aren’t enough spots available in the medical laboratory programs. Hospitals and private laboratories determine the number of available placements. We need the government to address this shortage.”
Mrs. Hoad adds “Healthcare in Ontario is an important issue with the upcoming election. The laboratory needs to be at the forefront of these discussions to ensure that patients are not affected. We ask the Ontario government to make these discussions a priority.”
The OSMT will be at Queens Park on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 to speak to government officials. To learn more visit www.osmt.org
The Ontario Society of Medical Technologists is the provincial organization for medical laboratory technologists and medical laboratory assistant/technicians. Incorporated in 1963, as the OSMT, it represents lab professionals across Ontario.
For more information about OSMT or interview requests, please contact:
* CIHI – Medical Laboratory Technologists 2015 (2017), Medical Laboratory Technologists: 2016 Health Human Resource Exploration, CMLTO.