Cornwall Ontario — On May 23, MPP Jim McDonell hosted a Town Hall meeting at the Garden Villa in Chesterville, attracting a large crowd of seniors and industry stakeholders, to discuss the upcoming physiotherapy service cuts. MPP McDonell highlighted the Government’s lack of transparency on the matter: “These changes are done by regulation and therefore never come before the Legislature. This is just a repeat of last year’s cuts to essential services, including cataract surgeries. It’s death by a thousand cuts, as this McGuinty-Wynne government secretly and without consultations, cuts funding that results in the layoff of nurses, physiotherapists, and reduction of key medical procedures. The people of Ontario deserve more”.
Funding for physiotherapy services is being cut from $172 million to $156 million, while funding for services to Long-Term Care home residents are being reduced from $110 million to $58 million. Eligible visits are being severely reduced and services are being moved to Community Care Access Centres and Local Health Integration Networks, which will increase the cost per visit to $120, almost ten times the
previous $12.20 OHIP fee.
Local seniors and physiotherapists gave examples of how continued mobility and independence are at risk if important physiotherapy eligibility is cut. MPP McDonell stated: “Cutting seniors’ access to physiotherapy will severely impact their quality of life, even depriving them of their independence. While the Government wastes billions of dollars without achieving any results, a truly positive service that delivers excellent value for money is cut. This is madness”.
MPP McDonell encouraged seniors and physiotherapists to keep the pressure on the Liberal Government by writing to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews. A petition is also available at the constituency office and on the website at http://jimmcdonellmpp.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/physiotherapy-services.pdf