Pressing Health Care Issues Shut Out of Federal Election Campaign – Physiotherapy Association Questions Political Will to Spend New Money on Old Problems

TORONTO, Sept. 25 – A recent poll indicated that Canadians have identified health care as one of their top concerns in this election. However, the leaders of Canada’s major political parties have paid very little attention to health care issues in the campaign. The Canadian Physiotherapy Association is calling on all the party leaders and candidates to take a closer look at health care and provide concrete ideas for improving the health care system in Canada. This will allow Canadians to make an informed decision on who to vote for when they go to the polls on October 14.”We haven’t heard much from the political parties, and what we have heard has been disappointing,” says Michael Brennan, CEO of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. “Throwing new money at an old problem is not the right solution for Canadians. The health human resources issue in Canada is complex and requires new thinking, not a simplistic solution of more doctors and more nurses, as some of the party leaders are proposing.”

Brennan says there needs to be better use of other health care professionals including physiotherapists, pharmacists, and dieticians. In health policy circles this is known as inter-professional collaboration. “It means getting the person with the right skills to see the patient at the right time, for the right price,” says Brennan. “Taking this approach will improve health care and save millions of dollars.”

The CPA has identified a need for easier access to physiotherapists and other health professionals, and has expressed this to Health Canada and the federal political parties. We will continue to promote the need for a comprehensive health human resources plan that includes physiotherapy and other primary health care providers.

The Health Council of Canada recently faulted federal and provincial governments for their failure to deliver promised improvements in home care, aboriginal health, primary health care, electronic health records and catastrophic drug coverage. The report says that the state of health care reform in Canada is ‘a patchwork of pilot projects, not a model of system-wide change’. The Canadian Physiotherapy Association urges the political parties to show leadership and make improving the health of Canadians a top priority in
this election.

About CPA

The Canadian Physiotherapy Association is the national voluntary professional association, representing more than 10,300 members across the country. CPA’s mission is to provide leadership and direction to the physiotherapy profession, foster excellence in practice, education and research, and promote high standards of health in Canada. Additional information can be found on our website, www.physiotherapy.ca.

For further information: Media Contact: For information and spokesperson interview, contact Virginia Bawlf, National Media Relations Liaison, (416) 932-1888 (x222), (647) 379-4145 (cell), vbawlf@physiotherapy.ca

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