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Wilson Calls on Minister to Stop Physiotherapy Service Cuts

(June 24, 2013) Simcoe-Grey MPP, Jim Wilson is stepping up today to hold the McGuinty-Wynne Liberal government to account for their rash and drastic cuts to physiotherapy services. 

Wilson has issued a letter to Health Minister Deb Matthews calling on the government to rethink their plans to drastically decrease physiotherapy services effective August 1, 2013. 

“I am not only against these cuts, but I would like to express my frustration over your government’s complete disregard for how these changes will impact seniors, and, in particular, seniors in rural areas and small towns,” wrote Wilson. “Physiotherapy is critical to keep seniors out of hospital, and in their homes, and I am concerned that the government is changing the provincial model of physiotherapy from being preventative to reactive, which will only lead to reduced mobility, increase falls and ultimately more hospitalizations.”

In the letter, Wilson indicated that the Liberals are cutting the physiotherapy budget by 22 percent from $200 million to $156 million. This translates into a 47 percent loss in service for seniors in long-term care homes and a 94 percent decrease in the number of physiotherapy visits for seniors in retirement homes. The changes also mean that most seniors will no longer qualify for treatment in their homes and will be forced to attend external community clinics.

“The Liberal government’s claim that they can expand physiotherapy to 200,000 more Ontarians while cutting the budget is unrealistic,” continued Wilson. “It’s deeply concerning that the Liberals are trying to mislead Ontarians while not even consulting with physiotherapists and industry experts who we have trusted and relied upon for years.” 

Wilson went on to express concern that the changes will increase bureaucratic costs, while reducing services and frontline care. “The changes move service from a low-cost provider to a high-cost provider,” wrote Wilson. “Instead of receiving services directly from healthcare professionals and having it billed to OHIP, patients will have to go through their Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) to receive the same care from the same provider. It will increase the cost per visit from $12.20 to $120.” 

In addition to the letter, Wilson has launched a petition against the cuts and has been collecting hundreds of signatures.  He also recently met with retirement homes, participated in a press conference and appeared on media outlets to speak about this issue.  To read about his efforts please visit his website www.jimwilsonmpp.com  

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To read Wilson's letter to the Minister of Health please click here


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