Growing shortage of lab technicians worries APTS

under topic No laboratories, no hospitals The union states that the work of its members is required for 85% of medical diagnoses. They are key players. If we did not have the laboratories, it would be nearly impossible to make a diagnosis as we do today.says Abitibi-Témiscamingue’s national representative, Carl Verreault.

The latter also deplored the excessive workload of 114 medical technicians in the region’s laboratories, due to the growing shortage of personnel. In 2019-2020, its members worked nearly 10,000 overtime hours. Between 2016 and 2020, the use of independent labor quadrupled.

We don’t find ourselves in a situation of forced overtime, but people take overtime so that they don’t fall into overtimeWorry about the national representative.

APTS National Representative in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Carl Feriault.

Photo: Radio Canada / Alexia Martel-Desjardins

for decentralization

Carl Verreault believes that the centralization of medical laboratories under OPTILAB is partly responsible for this situation. According to him, the McGill University Center has not done any real manpower planning since he took over the management of the district laboratories.

He therefore believes that decentralizing analytics, as we have seen during the pandemic, will be beneficial to the network. He would have liked to see this element in the overall reform of Minister Christian Dube’s health and social services network.

They realized that in order to centralize analytics in Montreal, it was nearly impossible to make it available on demand, so they deployed the devices to the regions. We are really with decentralization. It was never brought to the table in the re-establishment that he wanted to decentralize the labs, but in the end, when the plan is published further, will it be discussed? We wishMr. Verreault confirms.

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shortage of graduates

Carl Verreault also believes that greater efforts must be made to address the graduate shortage in biomedical analysis technology. He claims, for example, that students in this field can also benefit from Perspective Québec scholarships, in order to encourage them to enter this field of study.

The situation remains precarious in Abitibe-Tmiscaming. We have the first year of the Biomedical Analysis Technology program offered at the Cégep de Val-d’Or by Cégep de Rosemont. This is the second or third year that there are hardly any registrations and the group is canceled. In the end, there are risks of shutting down this techniqueafraid.

The students are observing the samples

Biomedical analysis technology students in their lab in 2017 (archive)

Photo: Radio Canada/Jill Munger

At the Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, it was confirmed that for the third year in a row next fall, there will not be enough registrations to launch a new group in this programme. The last group consisted of four students and they are now completing their training.

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