Publish date: Tuesday, February 07, 2017
HSP - Health Science Professionals
The HSPBA/HEABC Recruitment and Retention Committee last reported that it had submitted its Report and Recommendations concerning the sonographer shortage to the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Public Sector Employers’ Council Secretariat (PSEC), in accordance with the parties’ mandate under the Memorandum of Understanding that created the Committee during the last round of bargaining.
The Committee’s detailed report outlined the extent of the sonographer shortage in BC’s public sector and its impact on patient care, as well as factors contributing to the shortage. The report focused on recommendations to increase the number of Sonographers trained in B.C., and to improve the recruitment and retention of Sonographers in B.C.’s public sector. These recommendations include (in summary):
Short-Term (for immediate implementation):
Medium-Term (for implementation within the next one to two years):
Long Term (within two to five years):
The Committee received a written response from MoH and PSEC, who thanked the Committee for their work. They noted that MoH and AVED have worked together to create 18 additional education seats per year for diagnostic medical sonographers, including 16 fast-track seats (one year program).
MoH and PSEC are considering other strategies in the Committee’s report and are in the process of determining how best to increase the supply of trained sonographers and support their recruitment in specific geographic areas. They look forward to more opportunities to work together in identifying solutions that will result in the best possible health care for the patients of British Columbia.
MoH and PSEC have responded that at this time it is unclear that a market adjustment would resolve the current recruitment or retention challenge. They note the importance of evaluating the impact of any strategy (including market adjustments) on other professional disciplines and the health care system generally. Their position is that “a single profession market adjustment can only be considered after other recruitment and retention strategies, such as education and training, are fully utilized.”
The Committee will continue to look for ways to work with government to address the critical shortage of Sonographers in B.C.’s public sector.