INCREASE IN PROVINCIAL HEALTH CARE BUDGET MEANS MORE ACCESS TO PHYSIOTHERAPY
May 27, 2017 With an expected increase in $1.6 billion dollars over the previous year, Ontario will see $85 million dollars specifically targeting personal support, nursing care in the home, respite care, and home physiotherapy services. This block of funding looks to clearly be earmarked to reduce the wait times for home care and long-term care; areas that are in need of significant improvement. Mention was also made to boost the chronic pain management programs at over a dozen hospital in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond.
CAN BETTER ACCESS TO PHYSIOTHERAPY BE A SOLUTION TO OUR OPIOID EPIDEMIC?
With the recent spike in fentanyl-related deaths, we’ve focused on attention of the potentially devastating long-term effects of opioid use. In the acute stages of many injuries, opioids can be great pain management resources. However, a study in 2012 found the rates of our population currently taking opioids have steadily been increasing. Different solutions have been suggested, however we see a role for improved access to physiotherapy. Physiotherapists are skilled at pain management, and often can prevent, decrease, and stop the use of medications to manage injuries. The small funding investment required to bring physios closer to the front lines of acute injury management are vastly outweighed by the costs required to manage patients with chronic pain.
AUTO INSURANCE ACCIDENT BENEFITS FOR PHYSIOTHERAPY REDUCED
There is little argument that auto insurance rates in Toronto and the surrounding GTA have increased over the past 10 years and have become unaffordable to many. As a part of a Liberal election promise, rates have been slowly reduced by up to 10% over the past 2 years. However in response from the insurance sector, any insurance policy renewed after June 1, 2016 will have coverage for injury related benefits such as physiotherapy reduced from 25% to 50%. Additionally, previously covered services such as car rentals, housekeeping, income replacement etc will cost extra, similar to a la carte purchases. You may likely be eligible to keep your previous insurance coverage, however at a higher cost.
ARE PHYSIOTHERAPY SERVICES COVERED?
A recent Sunlife survey reported by the Toronto Star shows that a surprisingly large number of Canadians believe that common medical expenses such as eye care and physiotherapy are covered by the government after they retire. In fact 34% of respondents reported that they expect their province to pay for required physiotherapy. In some cases, for example those requiring a stay as an in-patient in a hospital, there is some minimal OHIP funding for rehabilitation, however the majority of Torontonians that typically currently access physical therapy services will find that these expenses will come out of their own pockets. We recommend including these potential expenses when budgeting retirement savings, or purchasing your own extended health insurance plan after retirement.
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Unsure if our services are appropriate for your problem? We offer a complimentary phone consultation with a registered physiotherapist to discuss your issue and provide honest advice about treatment options.Call us at (416) 595-5353