Ontario physio funding helps Bracebridge, Huntsville while shutting out Gravenhurst again
MUSKOKA — The health care battle between Bracebridge and Huntsville was a draw Thursday, as the province opted to fund physiotherapy in both north Muskoka towns.
Meanwhile, Gravenhurst was again shut out of any additional provincial health care services — as seniors, the poor and disabled patients and taxpayers in the Gateway town will have to continue leaving their hometown for the same services residents in other communities now routinely take for granted.
And many in Gravenhurst are left to wonder if they matter as a spring election hangs in the balance.
As part of reforms to physiotherapy services, Ontario is expanding access to clinic-based physiotherapy “for over 3,500 seniors and eligible patients” in North Simcoe and Muskoka, says the Central Ontario LHIN.
The province is providing $1,118,564 to support the addition of seven new publicly-funded physiotherapy clinics in North Simcoe and Muskoka, including:
• Centric Health Physiotherapy and Wellness – Bracebridge
• Closing the Gap Healthcare Group – Huntsville
• Closing the Gap Healthcare Group – Barrie
• Closing the Gap Healthcare Group – Innisfil
• Body ‘n Balance Physio & Wellness Clinic – WasagaBeach
• Collingwood Sport Medicine and Rehabilitation Centre
Previously, seniors in many communities across Ontario did not have access to publicly-funded clinic-based physiotherapy and waiting lists for in-home physiotherapy were too long, says the Local Health Integration Network.
The province says in its news release that now, clinic-based physiotherapy is being offered to 90,000 additional Ontarians in more communities as part of the government’s plan to increase access to physiotherapy, exercise and fall prevention classes across the province.
In addition, the province is providing funding to Community Care Access Centres to provide in-home physiotherapy to 60,000 more individuals to eliminate waiting lists.
Helping seniors stay healthy and active supports the government’s Action Plan for Health Care and its commitment to provide the right care, at the right time, in the right place.
They say it is also part of the government’s economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow by focusing on Ontario’s greatest strengths – its people and strategic partnerships.
Boasts Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care: “It used to be that seniors in many communities in Ontario had no access to publicly funded physiotherapy. With the addition of these clinics, our government is helping more seniors and patients across the province stay healthy, active and independent in their homes.”
Mario Sergio, Minster Responsible for Seniors Affairs, adds: “Our government is addressing the opportunities and challenges of an aging population. By working with our community partners we are creating and sustaining supportive environments that help Ontario seniors live healthy, active and meaningful lives.”
And Jill Tettmann, CEO, North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN says: “I want to recognize our community clinics for their commitment to putting patients at the centre of care and working collaboratively to achieve the North Simcoe Muskoka vision of Healthy People. Excellent Care. One System.”
And Amanda Smart, president of the Ontario Physiotherapy Association, says:“The government’s plan will improve the availability of publicly-funded physiotherapy and is an important step forward in strengthening Ontario’s health care system. The Ontario Physiotherapy Association has advocated a long time for these reforms and we are fully supportive.”
— Ontario is investing $156 million annually to support enhanced access to physiotherapy, and exercise and falls prevention services to more than 200,000 additional seniors and eligible patients.
— Eligibility for publicly funded physiotherapy has not changed. This service is available to seniors, youth aged 19 and younger, Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) recipients, and patients in need of physiotherapy treatment following surgery that required an overnight stay at the hospital.
— There is no set limit on physiotherapy services. Patients will receive as many physiotherapy sessions as determined to be necessary by their physiotherapist in order for them to recover.
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