Lab Canada

Canada’s healthcare crisis focus of town hall discussion at opening of Joint Congress of Medical Laboratory Science

Hamilton, ON – June 7, 2004 – The crisis in Canada’s health care system will be the focus of a town hall discussion at opening ceremony of the Joint Congress of Medical Laboratory Science, Monday, June 14 at the Centennial Auditorium and Convention Centre in Saskatoon.

The congress, which is co-sponsored by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science and the Saskatchewan Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists, runs from June 13 to 17. It’s expected to draw 500 medical laboratory professionals from across Canada.

Organized by a core committee of volunteers from Saskatchewan, the congress features an extensive scientific program and Canada’s largest laboratory equipment trade show. “This congress has been four years in the planning,” says Terry Akister, congress co-chair.

“Medical laboratory professionals-technologists, assistants and scientists-play a vital role in our health care and public health systems,” says Georgia Hearn, congress co-chair. “The emergence of new infectious diseases such as SARS and West Nile Virus and the growing shortage of medical laboratory technologists have created new challenges for our profession. Educational events like this provide us with an excellent opportunity to update our skills and to learn from experts in the field of medical laboratory science.”

The opening ceremony will begin at 8 am on Monday, June 14 followed by the town hall discussion, Health Care in Crisis: What Cost is Quality in Diagnostics?, at 10 am. Speakers include Dr Marlene Smadu, associate dean of undergraduate programs, University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing; Dr Stewart McMillan, chair, Health Quality Council; and Dr Allen Backman, associate professor (commerce), University of Saskatchewan.