Canada’s Medical Laboratory Professionals Urge Federal Party Leaders to Make Health Care a Priority

April 29, 2011

 National Medical Laboratory Week Reinforces Need for Vital Investments

OTTAWA, April 28, 2011 – The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) is calling on the Federal Party Leaders to make health care a key priority during this election. This week, Canada’s medical laboratory professionals are celebrating National Medical Laboratory Week, which is dedicated to educating the public about the important role that laboratory testing plays in the health and well-being of Canadians.

“Since 1985, CSMLS has sponsored this special week, recognizing the incredibly vital role that medical laboratory professionals play in Canada’s health care system,” says CSMLS President, Goldie Fagan. “In fact, up to 85 per cent of decisions about diagnosis and treatment are based on the results of laboratory tests.”

In the context of the current federal election campaign, CSMLS is urging the Federal Party Leaders to make critical investments for medical laboratory professionals, and Canada’s overall health care system, a key priority.

“As a group, our profession is the third largest health care profession in Canada,” states CSMLS Executive Director, Christine Nielsen. “Long-term, sustainable investments in the human resource needs for the medical laboratory profession are needed without delay.”

There is a serious shortage of medical laboratory technologists (MLTs) in Canada. In fact, about half of all MLTs will be eligible to retire in the next ten years. To combat this, critical investments are needed in the areas of clinical education, the integration of internationally educated health care professionals, and quality of worklife initiatives.

These issues were identified in the action plan proposed in the Framework for Collaborative Pan-Canadian Health Human Resources Planning, developed by the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Advisory Committee on Health Delivery and Human Resources in 2005.

Throughout this election, health care has surfaced as a top priority issue for Canadians. A recent public opinion poll demonstrates that health care remains the most important concern for Canadian voters.

“It is time for the Government of Canada to listen to Canadians,” adds Fagan. “What we need now is clear and bold leadership from our Government, to ensure that Canada’s health care system is not compromised.”

National Medical laboratory Week runs from April 24 – 30, 2011. This year’s theme, You Know, Because We’re Here, highlights that the information the lab produces is vital for physicians to diagnose and treat patients.

As part of this special week, CSMLS has also spearheaded a national public awareness campaign, Knowing Matters, and has produced a 30-second commercial which emphasizes the important connection between the lab professional and the patient. Canadians are invited to visit for more information and to view the commercial.

The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) is the national certifying body for medical laboratory technologists and medical laboratory assistants, and the national professional society for Canada's medical laboratory professionals. Incorporated in 1937, CSMLS has over 14,000 members.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Alana Fontaine
613-233-8906 (office)
613-299-4017 (cell)

Indigenous Land Acknowledgement : We respectfully acknowledge the CSMLS office, located in Hamilton, Ontario, is situated upon the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Mississauga Nation, Anishinaabe Peoples, and the Neutral Peoples. This land is covered by the Dish With One Spoon wampum, which is a treaty between the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe to share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. We further acknowledge that this land is covered by the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, 1792, between the Crown and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.


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