The Lab Experience – Essential to Patient Health Outcomes

For Immediate Release – October 11, 2017

Saskatoon – In anticipation of the transition to one provincial health region, SEIU-West conducted a survey of our members who provide laboratory services in our four affiliated health regions. We wanted our members to tell us about the current state of laboratory services, the best practices that exist and what is needed to move forward with transformational change in laboratory services. What we heard was disturbing.

An overwhelming number of SEIU-West laboratory professionals responded to the survey and revealed that they experience heavy, increasing workloads which are due mostly to a chronic, ongoing shortage of staff combined with a significant increase in demands for testing. They have serious concerns their work overload will lead to hurried tests and possible errors.

“Our members are telling the government that staffing levels have not kept up with demand,” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “When you have 69% of your members telling you that they are working short-staffed at least once a week there is a problem.”

SEIU-West shared a brief with the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Working Group on October 6, 2017 outlining the full results of the survey.

“As a Medical Laboratory Technologist, I’m not surprised by the findings of the survey,” said Simone Corriveau, an MLT and member of SEIU-West. “The work that we do as Technologists is extremely important to patient diagnosis, treatment, care plans, and ultimately to positive health outcomes. This work requires great attention to detail; we simply want to complete our work in an environment that is safe for us and our patients. And we need to know that the services we provide to our patients and clients are valued by our government and our employer.”

SEIU-West is calling on the government and the Ministry of Health to be much more transparent about their plans for health care transformation, including their plans for the delivery of laboratory and pathology services, and to invest in training, recruitment and retention of medical laboratory professionals in the Saskatchewan public health care system.

SEIU-West represents more than 11,000 health care service providers in the province of Saskatchewan. They include members who work in hospitals, long-term care homes, home care and public health. They are joined by one colour – purple – and one union – SEIU-West. Purple works in our communities! Visit to find out more about the members of SEIU-West.

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For more information, contact:
Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 306-652-1011 ext. 8733

Click to download a printable PDF of MEDIA RELEASE: The Lab Experience – Essential to Patient Health Outcomes

Read the SEIU-West Lab Services Brief

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