Put Physiotherapy Changes On Hold, Clark Tells Health Minister

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 26, 2013

LEEDS-GRENVILLE SENIORS CONCERNED ABOUT IMPACT OF AUGUST 1 CUTS

( BROCKVILLE ) – Looming cuts to physiotherapy services for seniors, in particular those in long-term care and retirement residences, should be put on hold until the impact can be fully measured, said Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark.

Clark, who has received letters from dozens of seniors across the riding and petitions signed by many more, has written to Health and Long-Term Care Minister Deb Matthews asking that she delay the changes, which take effect August 1.

Deb Matthews physio letter – Steve Clark, MPP – July 25, 2013

“Seniors are calling and writing to me because they’re worried about what’s going to happen to the physiotherapy they depend on come August 1,” said Clark. “I’m shocked that the minister has implemented such dramatic change in service without any consultation. No wonder there is so much confusion in the community.”

In his letter, Clark wrote: These changes, I believe, will see a reduction in service for Ontario seniors and have serious consequences on their long-term health. Beyond the impact on the health and well-being of seniors in my riding, your plan will inevitably add costs to the health-care system resulting from increased falls and other consequences of reduced physio treatment.

Clark spoke out against the cuts to physiotherapy services for seniors during the debate on the government’s budget at Queen’s Park and has also launched a petition against the plan. He also wrote to the Health Minister to condemn the move shortly after she made the announcement in April.

“Everyone recognizes that we need to spend our health-care dollars wisely,” said Clark . “But I’m not going to stand by quietly and see frontline care and treatment sacrificed to pay for the waste and mismanagement of the McGuinty-Wynne government.”

Clark noted he’s met with seniors, long-term care operators and physiotherapists who have told him that one-on-one physio treatment is a critical factor in improving patients’ mobility and quality of life.

“While the government claims this short-sighted cut is going to save $44 million, I believe the loss of these treatments for frail and elderly patients is going to end up costing the health-care system much more,” said Clark .

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