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QHC proposes changes to physio services

QHC has presented its union representatives with a proposal to limit outpatient physiotherapy services at its four hospitals.

The decision stems from a one per cent cut in funding and a two per cent per year increase in costs, said QHC President and CEO Mary Clare Egberts.

“This is certainly a difficult decision,” said Egberts. “This means we need to focus on the acute care services that truly need to be delivered in the hospital. Ongoing physiotherapy care is available in each of our communities, providing patients with options to receive these services outside of the hospital.”

The changes would save QHC more than $300,000 of the department’s $500,000 budget.

A number of options are being considered that would limit outpatient physiotherapy at QHC, including one option where patients would receive an initial assessment and treatment visit and then one follow-up appointment. Egberts said patients requiring additional physiotherapy can access services from providers in the community. Currently, about 1,300 patients receive an average of nine physiotherapy sessions at QHC.

The outpatient physiotherapy services at QHC are used by patients referred from specialists, such as orthopedic surgeons or physiatrists; patients with new fractures; or patients continuing their physiotherapy following an inpatient stay. Patients with hip and knee replacements would continue to receive physiotherapy services from the Community Care Access Centre.

These proposed changes would not impact any inpatient physiotherapy services, the Children’s Treatment Centre or the Rehabilitation Day Hospital.

Over the next month, QHC will work with its union partners and staff members to determine the exact impact on the eight physiotherapy staff at the four hospitals.

“Our goal as always is to not have any of our valued staff members involuntarily leave QHC. We hope to able to accomplish this through strategies such as eliminating already vacant positions, reassigning staff to other positions and reducing some part-time hours,” said Egberts.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Gary Mooney says:

    Under the Canada Health Act, services provided inside a hospital — including physiotherapy — are provided free to the patient By ceasing to provide full physiotherapy services, QHC is simply transferring the cost to the patient, who will have to pay for private physiotherapy, because Ontario does not cover physiotherapy provided outside hospitals.

    The $300K that QHC saves will become significantly more than #300K to be paid by patients affected by this decision.

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