Physiotherapy Funding Reforms Needed but Must Recognize Value of
Other Supports for Long Term Care Residents
Toronto, Ontario (April 18, 2013) – Minister Matthews announced
changes today to provide publicly-funded physiotherapy services to more
people across the province. In long term care, the focus will be
one-on-one physiotherapy for all residents with assessed need.
“We are fully behind reforms to provide greater access to
physiotherapy services and have been calling for a review of the funding
model for some time,” said Donna Rubin, CEO of OANHSS. “Our
concern is that what the government may view as service expansion will
be perceived as service reduction by many residents in homes.”
The model currently used by most homes provides residents with a wide
range of services beyond physiotherapy to improve functioning and
mobility, including activation programs and occupational therapy.
“We understand and support the need to ensure that
physiotherapy funding is used specifically for physiotherapy. However,
government needs to recognize that as we transition to a new system,
residents may experience a reduction in the services they’ve
become accustomed to receiving. We are looking to the Ministry to ensure
exercise programs that enhance mobility and prevent falls will be
covered. The $10 million being allocated is a good step, but this
equates to just $0.36 per resident and won’t cover the
shortfall,” added Rubin.
“The government decided on this new approach so we need to take
some time to review these changes with our members and to work with
government to fully understand the impact and the process for
transitioning the sector,” said Rubin.
OANHSS will also be looking for further information on how this
decision affects the convalescent care program in long term care homes,
and in particular the government’s plans to expand this
“This restructuring of physiotherapy comes at time when the
government is looking to the long term care sector to play a greater
role in providing short-term and convalescent care for people coming out
of hospital. Physiotherapy is a huge component of these programs and we
need to know what these changes will mean,” added Rubin.
OANHSS is the provincial association representing not-for-profit
providers of long term care, services and housing for seniors. Members
include municipal and charitable long term care homes, non-profit
nursing homes, seniors’ housing projects and community service
agencies. Member organizations operate over 27,000 long term care beds
and over 8,000 seniors’ housing units across the province.
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(W) 905-851-8821 ext. 233