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