QUEEN’S PARK – Recent cuts from the Ministry of Health will mean less physiotherapy services particularly for the elderly, according to Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek.
Recently, the current government announced it would put $156 million a year toward physiotherapy, exercise and fall prevention services for seniors and eligible patients. This is a decrease from last year’s level of $172 million.
However, as MPP Yurek notes, this off-the-top cut is only part of the story.
“The real story here is that the Ministry is directing most of this funding to CCACs and LHINs while removing service provision from designated physiotherapy clinics.”
Designated physiotherapy clinics are low cost providers of physiotherapy services. The Ministry claims this action is aimed at removing the private-for-profit industry. However, the CCACs regularly contract services out to private clinics.
“This, in effect, means the Ministry will be sticking a middleman between the Ministry and designated physiotherapy clinics that currently provide low-cost services,” said Yurek. “This means more money will be eaten up by administration and less spent on front-line care.”
The number of physiotherapy visits for seniors covered by OHIP will decrease from 50 to 12 as a result. Further, bedridden seniors in retirement homes, who are currently eligible for 100 OHIP-covered visits, will only qualify for two to six visits through the CCAC model.
“This is a short-sighted decision to address a perceived problem of private providers. Ultimately, our seniors and other eligible individuals will suffer.”
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