Medical Imaging | Nearly a third of technologists are considering leaving the public

2023-05-29 05:21:47

Nearly a third of medical imaging, radiation oncology, nuclear medicine and medical electrophysiology technologists are considering leaving the public network in the next year due to working conditions and the lack of recognition of their profession, learned The Press.

This is the conclusion of a survey of 2,000 members of the Alliance of Professional and Technical Personnel in Health and Social Services (APTS), which represents some 5,400 technologists from these four job categories.

In total, an average of 32% of these workers plan to leave the public network “in the next year”. “The two main reasons are the attraction of the private sector, but also the fact that they want to change their profession because of the working conditions”, explains the president of the union alliance, Robert Comeau, in an interview with The Press.

In some cases, the desire to return to school also plays into the balance, insists the manager. His group, which is currently in negotiations with the government since the expiry of the collective agreement for technologists in March, affirms that the shortage of personnel has been very difficult for a few months.

“In terms of energy and investment, it becomes very irritating to do this work, when their job is essential. No medical imaging means delayed operations. Before, during and after the medical follow-ups, but also in the emergency room, we are there,” says Mr. Comeau.

The fear of mass departures

For the APTS, the heart of the problem currently resides in the fact that the working conditions are “not attractive”, but especially that the profession of technologist is “not valued at all by the government”.

“When you look at Minister Christian Dubé’s Health Plan, there was initially no question of technical platforms in general. We had to make representations for them to be included, which is now done. But it proves how little the government pays attention to it right away,” laments Mr. Comeau.

About 500 technologists are currently short across the province.

“It’s huge,” says the union leader. We represent 5427 [technologues] of these four job categories in Quebec and […] they represent 95% of the environment. »

In its report published Monday, the APTS is concerned that “additional departures would only worsen the current work overload which, in turn, will increase the number of departures”. “Despite repeated assertions by the Ministry of Health that the major reform of Bill 15 which is taking place will make the network a more attractive employer, there is no guarantee to this effect”, insists the organization.


Robert Comeau, President of the APTS

Salary catch-up is certainly necessary, according to Mr. Comeau, but he also calls on Quebec to open the door “to interesting reorganizations of schedules, once we have reached the number of technologists required to deliver the services”. The inconsistency of “critical care bonuses”, given to certain job titles, but not to others, plays a large part in the frustration of its members, he adds.

The succession challenge

On the succession side, the challenge is also very great for the future, since fewer and fewer students are choosing to enroll in health technologist programs. “What we are asking for is that the four professions we represent be registered in government scholarship programs, which is not the case at the moment,” continues Robert Comeau.

Young people should also see and witness interesting experiences during their training. When we are thinking of leaving, which is the case for many people at the moment, we are not giving young people a good representation. It all starts with the best conditions and recognition.

Robert Comeau, President of the APTS

Mr. Comeau regrets that Quebec shows little flexibility in the discussions. “The listening is there, but the gestures, not. We discuss, we chat, but in the negotiations, the employer only talks about its priorities, its problems, which are often not the same as ours,” concludes Mr. Comeau.

In its survey, available online, the APTS also shows very clearly that “virtually all of the respondents (96%) consider that their profession is unknown to the population”, which highlights an “appetite for more recognition in all workplaces”.

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