SURVEY SHOWS 60% OF COVID-19 LONG HAULERS REHAB NEEDS IGNORED
Feb 10, 2021 Studies show one third of those who have contracted Covid-19 will go on to develop issues with lung, heart function, and cognitive, pain and fatigues complaints. Medical experts say that we currently don’t have the resources to help this growing population. Only 2 clinics in Ontario address long-hauler impairments and are funded through charitable donations, hospital budgets, and research grants. The longer this shortage persists, the greater the potential for long-term disability. Which in turn is predicted to create an even greater strain on our medical system then if this issue were addressed as it occurs. Some patients indicated that their physicians didn’t believe that they were suffering from Covid-19 symptoms, and often attributed their condition to anxiety or depression. New research is currently underway in Toronto to better diagnose this condition and have structured treatment protocols for optimizing recovery for long-haulers.
TORONTO AND PEEL ENTER LOCK-DOWNS; PHYSIOTHERAPY CLINICS STAY OPEN
Nov 26, 2020 COVID-19 Lockdown in Ontario. Ontario premier Doug Ford announced on Monday Nov 23 that the regions of Peel and Toronto will enter the Grey color zone, meaning a lock-down. The Ontario Physiotherapy Association communicated directly with the office of the Chief Medical Officer of Ontario who confirmed that physiotherapy clinics in these regions would be permitted to stay open. Clinics would have to ensure that PPE, screening and distancing measures would stay in place. Cornerstone is pleased to hear this news and look forward to continuing to provide much needed rehabilitation services during this time of uncertainty.
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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