Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Continuing Physotherapy

Continuing Physiotherapy

In Ontario Canada, because continued stress on our health care resources, our provincial government has created an agency/board/ (?) entitled the Local Hospital Integration Network (LHINs) which for all intents and purposes, relieves the government itself of making difficult decisions regarding reorganization and cuts to health care. As a result they decided that the outpatient physiotherapy department at my hospital is redundant with those private clinics in the community and the money making unit was ordered closed. As I'm an employee of that hospital, it would have been convenient for me to attend when I return to work. With it's closing I was to find a physiotherapist in the community. I have to question whether those clinics in the community are more accustomed to treating sports injuries and motor vehicle accidents rather than more serious brain & spinal cord injuries. I'm sure there are many fine clinics out there but do they have the turnover of serious conditions and injuries to become experts at such specialized treatment?

I am not being offered pool therapy on the OHIP physiotherapy clinic. Told that pools are available at community centers, however they don't staff physiotherapists to suggest exercises and correct technique. Pool therapy and water buoyancy helped in regaining strength and balance.

Perhaps because I have been in the hospital physiotherapy program for such a long period of time, perhaps because I'm an employee and colleague, perhaps it's my dazzling personality (yeah, sure), perhaps they tried to accommodate everyone this way but after the outpatient department closed, they transferred me to the OHIP (Ontario Hospital Insurance Plan) side of physiotherapy which remains at the hospital.

So try to understand this - in order for the government to save money, I was transferred from the 'self pay' and income generating outpatient physiotherapy side to the OHIP, government paid side of physiotherapy. Now, to the delight of my private insurance carrier, the premiums of which my employer (the hospital) pays into, no longer is billed for my therapy but rather the Ontario Government and ultimately the taxpayer is paying for my continued therapy. Makes sense only in the mind of a politician/bureaucrat.

So I'm continuing physiotherapy on the taxpayer's coin rather than the private health care insurance which I'm entitled to.

The usual duration of OHIP physiotherapy is 16 weeks max from what I understand so I may be looking for a new physiotherapist and a new clinic sometime in the near future. As it will be off site, it will an additional inconvenience for me.

So, with each change I get a new physiotherapist, with a new interview/evaluation as they learn about me, my injury, my abilities, my needs etc. Those interruptions result in delays in actual physiotherapy and some frustration.

In Summary, physiotherapy continues but now at twice a week with no pool therapy. Most physiotherapy now consists of a warm up at the parallel bars, a walk up and down the hallway (~360 meters/yards) per day and then bench exercises to strengthen the core muscles.

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