Update re: Sonography Canada Membership Fees for 2023-2024April 26, 2023
For the 2023-2024 renewal season, dues have increased by $24 dollars. This is the first increase that we have levied since 2016….seven years ago. I’m sure that you can appreciate that the cost to provide services to members and to maintain standards within the profession have also risen over that time period. In fact, according to the Bank of Canada, the value of $1.00 in 2016 is the equivalent of $1.26 today. While we knew that an increase was necessary, we could not in good conscience increase member dues by 26% to match the rate of inflation we had experienced over the years. The $24 increase you see in your member dues category reflects 13.7%.
We are pleased to report that since the last increase in member dues, we have worked diligently to increase the services made available to you:
- Increased number of CPD offerings including our monthly webinar CPD program most of which are completely free to members. These did not exist in 2016.
- New online educational opportunities, such as our AGM & Education Day, a half-day of educational programming, completely free to members
- Over 300 titles in our CPD Video Library – this number has tripled since 2016.
- Improved communications to and from the organization due to the modernization of most of our systems – website, database, newsletter, etc.
- Increase in general member benefits, like established partnerships with Marks Work Warehouse, Goodlife Fitness, TD Home & Auto Insurance, Rogers Cell Phone Plans, Scrubs Canada, and more.
Over the same period, there have been significant changes in the healthcare environment that affect sonographers such as regulation of the profession in Ontario and Nova Scotia, and an increase in the number of educational programs across the country which, in turn, means a significant increase in the number of candidates challenging our credentialing examinations. Sonography Canada continuously takes a predominant role in these activities to ensure that professional competencies and standards are relevant and well maintained throughout Canada.
During the pandemic and continuing today, members are looking to Sonography Canada to advocate more strongly on their behalf, and on behalf of the profession. Throughout the pandemic we advocated for sonographers on issues ranging from PPE, pandemic pay and mental health. And, with our new Strategic Plan (2023-2025), we are strengthening this capability by engaging directly with governments and strengthening relationships with allied health organizations that will help to amplify our voice. In this regard, we’ve been extremely busy in the past few months and are pleased with the response we have received from the following initiatives:
- We issued a letter of support to the Minister of Health, Hon. Duclos, in late January 2023 regarding Canada Health Transfer Assurances to the provinces
- Acceptance into the influential HEAL organization which offers many direct channels to federal officials
- We sent in a pre-budget submission to the Federal Government calling for a health human resource strategy that includes sonographers, mental health supports to all healthcare workers and more robust data gathering tools especially in diagnostic imaging
- Several encouraging meetings with MPs who sit on the federal government’s Standing Committee on Health, the federal healthcare critic, and key team members of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities in Ontario. These meetings continue through Q2 and we are working to strengthen our presence within all provinces.
- And, at the end of March 2023, we shared the Federal Budget Summary with members and were pleased to note that $505 million being delivered to CIHI and other health partners for improved data gathering which has the potential to directly benefit sonographers if we take the appropriate follow-up actions. You can read more here if you missed it [member login required].
Professional Liability Insurance:
Our insurance provider, BMS Group, sets the rates of insurance for our membership each year. The rate is largely based on the number of claims processed against sonographers in the previous year or so and, with regulation in two provinces, the number of those claims has increased in recent years. Sonography Canada recognized that during the pandemic our members may have been struggling with reduced hours due to illness, decreased hours, or even job loss (especially in the beginning). The Board of Directors decided to discount the insurance rate to members, absorbing the cost of the discount through its budget and reserves.
In other words, while Sonography Canada collected $79 from the member for a PLI policy, the actual amount that Sonography Canada owed to the insurance provider was $91. Sonography Canada paid the difference as an acknowledgement of the hard work that our members perform everyday as part of the front-line, allied healthcare team.
We offered a $12 PLI discount to members in 2021, and $6 the following year; however it is not something that Sonography Canada can continue to offer, especially as we are working to increase our positioning and value in many different areas. Please note that the real PLI policy rate of $91 has not changed for three years largely through negotiation with the insurance provider.
Should you have any questions about member dues and/or Professional Liability Insurance, please do not hesitate to reach out to Meagan Rockett, Manager, Membership, Marketing & Communications by email email@example.com