Private Ontario health firm offering $10,000 hiring bonus

Ontario hospitals call it poaching, but MRI firm says it wants to lure international applicants

A private MRI company is drawing the ire of the Ontario Hospital Association over its offering of a $10,000 signing bonus designed to lure technologists to work at its new clinics in the Ontario cities of Markham and Kitchener.

The company, KMH Cardiology and Diagnostic Centres, said the offer is aimed at luring technologists from outside Canada, but Sandra Conley, a spokesperson for the Ontario Hospital Association, said it’s an attempt to poach staff from an already understaffed industry in the province.

“We really don’t want to be in the position of competing for staff,” Conley told the Toronto Star. “Obviously it’s going to be hard for us to match the $10,000 signing bonus.”

The Ontario government made the decision to allow private diagnostic clinics last year, but the health minister made it clear that poaching of staff from hospitals would not be permitted. A spokesperson for Health Minister Tony Clement said the $10,000 bonus doesn’t amount to poaching because KMH said it is focusing on international candidates.

"No one's been hired," said Paul Cantin. "They're saying their focus is on external candidates, then that's not poaching."

The province is short about 150 radiologists and hundreds of technologists, according to the Ontario Association of Radiologists.

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