RTs, Sonographers Skipped in New Ontario Government Pay Initiative

By News Release

The Ontario government recently announced the Temporary Pandemic Pay (TPP) for frontline healthcare workers, with this plan providing a temporary pay increase to some healthcare professionals but failing to recognize the COVID-19 pandemic's effects on other crucial healthcare workers. While providing this pay increase to many professionals in Ontario's hospitals and healthcare facilities, the government has neglected to include Medical Radiation Technologists (MRTs) and Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (DMSs) as a part of this initiative, according to a press release by  the Ontario Association of Medical Radiation Sciences (OAMRS).

OAMRS continued to state that while MRTs and DMSs are providing vital diagnostic tests and treatments on thousands of Ontarians every day in hospitals, Independent Health Facilities, and long-term care facilities, their efforts are seemingly going unnoticed by the government of Ontario. MRTs and DMSs are in ICUs and emergency departments, at bedsides, and in dedicated suites performing x-rays, ultrasounds, CTs, MRIs, and interventional procedures. These integral healthcare workers have as much direct contact with patients as the healthcare professionals explicitly mentioned in the government's releases, and their exclusion from the TPP has created a great division within Ontario's frontline workforce. The diagnostic tests that MRTs and DMSs perform are critical in order to diagnose, monitor, and treat COVID-19 patients, and it is unjust and inequitable that MRTs and DMSs are being excluded from receiving this increase in pay.

The society stressed that MRTs and DMSs are frontline health workers who are risking their lives and the lives of their families in the public interest every day in the battle against COVID-19. MRTs and DMSs' presence in the healthcare system is absolutely crucial, especially at this time. Without their essential work, the province and country would undoubtedly be in a much worse state, as treating COVID-19 requires the help of all healthcare professionals.

"It is incomprehensible and irresponsible of this government not to recognize the essential healthcare services provided by MRTs and DMSs who continue to risk their lives each day on the frontline in the public interest," comments Greg Toffner, President and CEO, Ontario Association of Medical Radiation Sciences (OAMRS). "It is shocking and appalling. They (MRTs and DMSs) are having prolonged, direct contact with suspected and infected COVID-19 patients 24 hours a day every day. The Ontario government has escalated an already very stressful time for healthcare workers and made it much worse. This government has abandoned essential and vital healthcare providers in this province by not recognizing them in their plan and causing division and alienation instead of unity across the system."

The Ontario government's failure to recognize MRTs and DMSs has left these groups feeling undervalued, angry, frustrated and discouraged. Despite the efforts put forth by the OAMRS, the Ontario government has yet to speak on this matter directly and continues to keep MRTs and DMSs in the dark regarding this issue. OAMRS calls on Premier Ford and Deputy Premier Elliott to rectify it as soon as possible. By bringing this issue to light, the OAMRS seeks to achieve equality for all of the healthcare professionals who are risking their lives for the wellbeing of all Ontarians during this time, as well as to achieve equality amongst all healthcare workers.

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RTs, Sonographers Skipped in New Ontario Government Pay Initiative.  Appl Radiol. 

By News Release| May 05, 2020

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