Tag Archives: CCACs

A tangible response to physiotherapy cuts – the province finally adds community capacity

After significantly cutting outpatient physiotherapy at hospitals across Ontario, the government is finally putting something back.

The Ministry of Health says it is making a major investment in community-based physiotherapy, exercise classes and falls prevention services that will benefit up to 218,000 more Ontarians.

The Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) will receive $10 million more for falls prevention and exercise classes – giving them an ability to serve 68,000 more seniors. This is in addition to $44.5 million to provide physiotherapy in community-based settings that will increase capacity to 90,000 more seniors and “eligible patients.”

These community-based settings could include Family Health Teams, Nurse-Practitioner led clinics and Community Health Centres.

Long term care homes will get the biggest share — $68.5 million for one-on-one physiotherapy with seniors in their care.

Community Care Access Centres are also to receive $33 million to reduce the wait list for in-home physiotherapy, giving them the capacity to add up to 60,000 clients.

Oddly the Ministry’s release suggests that “until now, a small number of for-profit companies have had almost exclusive control over the delivery of publicly-funded physiotherapy.”

Huh?

Did they forget about the 50 per cent of hospitals that recently cut outpatient physiotherapy services?

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Is competitive bidding in home care done? Let’s hope so.

September 10 Doris Grinspun, executive director of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, tweeted that Health Minister Deb Matthews had just announced to a nursing meeting that the moratorium on competitive bidding in home care would be made permanent. No formal confirmation of this announcement has been made by the Ministry of Health.

No services competition has successfully taken place since 2004 when then Health Minister George Smitherman announced the appointment of Elinor Caplan to conduct a review into the competitive bidding process.

The Caplan review followed months of campaigning in the Niagara region after the Victorian Order of Nurses had lost the local home care nursing contract during its centenary in the community. OPSEU-represented VON members had met with MPPs up and down the Niagara peninsula to point out problems with the competition.

The union complained that the bidding process had been tainted by the then Niagara CCAC administrator who told at least one patient in advance of the competition that VON would not be a successful bidder.

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