Health Human Resources
Medical Radiation Technologist Workforce in Canada Information Sheet The Health Human Resources department at CIHI captures, maintains and analyzes data on 24 groups of health care professionals in Canada, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, medical laboratory technologists and medical radiation technologists. It offers comprehensive national, provincial and territorial portraits of these groups—including their supply, distribution, education and employment.
Medical radiation technologists (MRTs) are health care professionals who operate radiographic equipment to produce images of body structures to diagnose and treat injury and disease and/or who operate radiation therapy equipment to plan and administer radiation treatment. The MRT workforce in Canada includes practising MRTs who hold active registrations with provincial regulatory bodies, provincial professional associations or the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) (for B.C. and the territories), excluding those who are registered in more than one jurisdiction. In 2010, the MRT profession was regulated in six provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Although the profession is not regulated in Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I. and Manitoba, MRTs who practise in these provinces are required to register with both the provincial professional association and the CAMRT. The remaining jurisdictions—B.C., Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut— are not regulated and do not require mandatory registration. Medical Radiation Technologists in Canada, 2010 is the third annual release from the Medical Radiation Technologist Database (MRTDB). It provides the most recent statistics on the MRT workforce, including supply, distribution, demographic, education, certification and employment information. The report can be found on CIHI’s website at www.cihi.ca.
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Health Human Resources
The Numbers for 2010 Data Supply and Demographics
• Canada had 17,378 registered MRTs in the MRT workforce. • There were 52 MRTs per 100,000 population (for all provinces combined except B.C.). • The majority of MRTs were female, representing 81.1% of the registered workforce. • The average age for the MRT workforce was 42.1, with 31.0% of MRTs younger than 35 and 16.7% older than 55.
Education and Certification
• The majority of MRTs in seven provinces (Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., New Brunswick, Quebec,
Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta) and the three territories held a diploma (94.7%) as their basic level of education for entry to practice.
• The percentage of recently graduated MRTs was 8.0% overall for seven provinces (P.E.I., New Brunswick, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C.), ranging from 3.6% in Manitoba to 10.2% in P.E.I. The average age of new graduates was between 26 and 29.
• Most MRTs obtained their initial certification in radiological technology (74.9%), while a smaller proportion obtained radiation therapy (11.9%) or nuclear medicine (10.3%) initial certifications.
• For all jurisdictions except Nova Scotia and B.C., the majority (85.9%) of MRTs were permanent employees, while 11.5% had either temporary or casual employment.
• In Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the three territories, 76.5% of the combined MRT workforce worked on a full-time basis.
• For all jurisdictions combined (except Nova Scotia, Alberta and B.C.), most MRTs (80.8%) were staff
technologists. The remaining MRTs were managers (2.4%), supervisors (2.7%), charge technologists/team leaders (6.1%), radiation safety officers (0.2%), educators (2.6%) or held other positions (3.1%).
• In Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the three territories, the majority (88.2%) of MRTs engaged in diagnostic and therapeutic services.
• For all jurisdictions combined (except Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan and B.C.), more than threequarters (76.6%) of MRTs worked in a hospital setting, ranging from 55.4% in Alberta to 95.7% in New Brunswick, reflecting different organizational structures and unique ways of delivering medical imaging services across the jurisdictions.
Health Human Resources
• About two-thirds of the MRT workforce in Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., New Brunswick, Ontario
and Saskatchewan worked 37.5 hours or more per week. The full-time equivalent (FTE) percentage was estimated at between 89% (P.E.I.) and 94% (Saskatchewan).
• As of January 1, 2010, there were 618 nuclear medicine cameras, 484 computed tomography (CT) scanners and 281 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners in Canada. In 2009–2010, the average number of examinations per scanner was 9,603 for CT and 5,738 for MRI.i
• For Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta and B.C., medical imaging compensation expenses in
the hospital sector have gradually increased since 2006, making up more than 50% of total medical imaging expenses in hospital imaging departments.ii
Talk to Us The MRTDB holds information for MRTs and was established in 2008. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
i. National Survey of Selected Medical Imaging Equipment, 2010, Canadian Institute for Health Information. ii . Canadian MIS Database, Canadian Institute for Health Information.
Published in April 2012