November 23, 2021 Winnipeg MB – After sounding the alarm for months on critical staffing shortages for diagnostic imaging technologists, rural paramedics, laboratory professionals, respiratory therapists and many other allied health professionals that Manitobans rely on, the Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals (MAHCP) is raising concerns about the lack of concrete commitments in this year’s Speech from the Throne.
“Manitobans won’t get to the emergency room without paramedics, and those ERs won’t be open unless there are enough technologists to analyze the bloodwork or take X-rays. We’ve already seen rural ER closures, and we are hearing about rural Manitobans unable to get an ambulance in an emergency and needing to drive family members to get care,” said Bob Moroz, MAHCP President.
“Government can’t fix rural health care, or any health care, without addressing these alarming staffing shortages in Allied Health.”
MAHCP represents over 6,500 Allied Health Professionals in 190 disciplines, including:
Diagnostic Imaging Technologists, including MRI, CT, Ultrasound, Myocardial Perfusion, Mammogram and Sleep Disorder Studies. Recent Doctors Manitoba reports identified a backlog of over 80,000 diagnostic procedures and the urgent need for more trained technologists.
Rural Paramedics. More ambulances are out of service due to staffing shortages and with response times trending up, rural communities are concerned about lack of timely service.
Respiratory Therapists. A shortage of respiratory therapists and other trained professionals led to critically ill patients being sent out of province in the third wave. ICU admissions are on the rise again, and existing respiratory therapy resources are already strained.
Laboratory Professionals. They have been further stretched due to COVID-19. Labs continue to run below baseline staffing, and technologists’ workload has doubled. There are mounting concerns regarding turnaround times for test results as rural, and Northern ERs threaten to close due to lack of laboratory technologists.
MAHCP has met with Health and Seniors Care Minister Audrey Gordon, and previously with Premier Stefanson when she oversaw the health portfolio, to discuss the critical staffing situation in allied health. No government commitments have been made to date.
“Frontline allied health care professionals need a strong commitment from government to address the current staffing crisis, which is only getting worse,” said Moroz.
“Health care professionals are retiring early and resigning from frustration and burnout, and they’re not getting replaced fast enough – we need them on the job and we need more of them. Manitobans need action now to save the services we all rely on.”
The Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals is a union representing over 6500 allied health professionals representing more than 190 disciplines across Manitoba. For more information on MAHCP visit www.mahcp.ca.
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