Pandemic Pay for Ontario’s Forgotten Healthcare Workers

Pandemic Pay for Ontario’s Forgotten Healthcare Workers

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Doug Ford recognized many healthcare workers in his pandemic pay initiative. However, he forgot key players that were in hospitals every single day and in direct contact with COVID patients throughout the pandemic. 

These forgotten healthcare workers have fought for recognition of their services during this pandemic and for entitlement to pandemic pay. They include Anesthesia Assistants, Perfusionists, Medical Radiation Technologists, Diagnostic Medical Sonographers,  Medical Lab Technicians, Cardiotechnologists, Occupational Therapists, Registered Electroencephalography Technologists, Electromyography Technologists, Registered Dieticians, and Physiotherapists. This list is not exhaustive. 

Imagine you’re a very sick COVID patient entering a hospital. An Anesthesia Assistant helps anesthetize you and place your breathing tube. The progression of COVID's effect on your lungs/body is tracked by images taken by radiation technologists/other medical imaging staff; they will take multiple images/scans during your hospitalization to help guide treatment. Blood work and labs are collected and analyzed by medical lab technicians. Your condition worsens and you require extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) - the most intense form of life support - a perfusionist will be managing that machine and keeping you alive until the machine is no longer necessary. Perfusionists see the sickest COVID patients every single day. Your body is continually growing weaker as it is fighting COVID, physiotherapists ensure your body stays strong while registered dieticians manage your diet to optimize your body for recovery. Diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and rehab are a team effort. 

All these individuals were left off the list of being eligible for pandemic pay despite having direct contact with COVID patients. If painters, plasterers, locksmiths, carpenters, truck drivers, electricians, and other hospital staff who did not directly contact COVID patients qualified, WHY DIDN'T WE?

Please help us appeal to Doug Ford to remedy this situation. 

If your profession was also excluded from Ford's pandemic pay program in Ontario, please email me at fairpandemicpay@gmail.com.