CSMLS Supports Health Action Lobby’s Call to Action on Health Care

September 22, 2015

The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) joins other members of Canada’s Health Action Lobby (HEAL) to remind federal leaders that Canadians want government to make the challenges facing our health care system a priority. Public opinion research consistently reveals that Canadians care deeply about finding sustainable and cost-effective options that will enhance our national health. And healthy Canadians make for a healthy and competitive economy. Yet, to date, policy debates associated with the 2015 federal election have rarely focused on health care.

Through its Consensus Statement entitled The Canadian Way - Accelerating Innovation and Improving Health System Performance, HEAL has issued a call to action, contending that an effective health system depends on enhanced collaboration among all levels of government. HEAL also expects the federal government to re-assert its legitimate and facilitative leadership role.

“HEAL speaks on behalf of the health organizations and professionals who understand what it will take to keep the focus on the patient, improve health outcomes and get better value from our health-care spending,” says, HEAL Co-Chair, Dr. Karen Cohen. “Canadians want clarity about the vision each of the federal parties has for our national health care system, before they go to the polls.”

For its part, the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) has developed a proposal for addressing the critical shortage of medical laboratory technologists that Canada is facing. 

The current supply of domestically educated laboratory students is not sufficient to address the impending shortage. All lab students have a clinical placement (internship) as part of their educational program.  Programs cannot increase spots without corresponding clinical placements, making this a bottleneck in the system.  These spots are scarce due to staffing shortages, crushing workloads and lack of dedicated education personnel.

What is needed is:

  • Targeted funding for dedicated clinical educators to support onsite clinical education 
  • Targeted funding for research into the value and effectiveness of clinical simulation to reduce the amount of clinical education each student requires

“The challenges around securing enough quality clinical placements is the biggest limiting factor for increasing the supply of new health professionals in the laboratory and many other health care professions,” says CSMLS President, Tania Toffner. “CSMLS joins the call to action on health care and encourages all political parties to work together on achieving a national solution.  This vital step would go a long way to ensuring the sustainability of our health care system.”

HEAL is a coalition of 39 national health and consumer associations and organizations dedicated to protecting and strengthening Canada's health system. Created in 1991, and representing more than 650,000 health-care providers and Canada’s largest health organizations, the major focus of HEAL’s activities has been on the federal role in health and health care. The Canadian Way Consensus Statement calls for health sector reform and funding initiatives grounded in compassion, consensus, and collaboration.


Media Contacts:

For the Health Action Lobby

Lisa Robertson: 613-739-7032                                                                                                       

Susan Wright: 519-703-2020


Read The Canadian Way at

For the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science

Michael Grant: 905-667-8687


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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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