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Urgent support needed for Canada’s medical laboratories: CSMLS


Ottawa, ON – The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) has reported on its appearance this week before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health, with respect to their study on the statutory review of the 10-year plan to strengthen health care.

CSMLS reiterated the urgent and critical need to implement a long-term, sustainable human resources strategy for the medical laboratory profession, before it is too late. “Canada is facing a nation-wide shortage of medical laboratory technologists,” said Kurt Davis, the organization’s executive director. “We predict that by 2015, half of Canada’s MLTs will be eligible to retire.”

Up to 85% of decisions about diagnosis and treatment are based on results of tests performed by medical laboratory technologists. A shortage of qualified medical laboratory professionals will have a severe negative impact on patient care in Canada.

“Right now we are in the middle of a vicious cycle,” he said. “We’re in a situation where clinical sites are refusing to accept students because of staffing shortages – they can’t take students because they’re too busy due to the shortages, and they’re short of staff because there aren’t enough new graduates.”

CSMLS is recommending that provincial and federal governments target funds to support onsite clinical education for medical laboratory technologists, which is a vital component of medical laboratory science education. CSMLS is further recommending that funding be made available to conduct additional research into the value and effectiveness of clinical simulation.