Ontario Physiotherapy Association applauds on legislation to expand physiotherapy scope of practice



    TORONTO, May 11 /CNW/ - The Ontario Physiotherapy Association (OPA)
enthusiastically welcomes the Regulated Health Professions Statute Law
Amendment Act, 2009 tabled in the Ontario Legislature earlier today by the
Hon. David Caplan, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. A section of that
Bill, if passed, will amend the Physiotherapy Act, 1991 to expand the scope of
practice and authorized acts of the physiotherapy profession in Ontario to
better reflect the competencies physiotherapists bring to the health system
and remove other barriers to access to care.
    Physiotherapists are one of the 22 healthcare professions governed by the
Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA). Under the RHPA, the scope of practice
statement in each profession-specific Act describes what that profession does.
The list of authorized acts in each profession-specific Act covers those
procedures that constitute a significant risk of harm and are, therefore,
reserved for those professions that have demonstrated the requisite
competencies to perform them safely and effectively.
    Mark Beadle, the President of the Ontario Physiotherapy Association and a
practising physiotherapist, welcomed the legislation and stated, "The
physiotherapy profession has advocated for this for some time and we applaud
Mr. Caplan and the McGuinty government for taking this important initiative to
improve the public's access to health services. We hope all MPPs will support
these changes."
    Dorianne Sauvé, the CEO of the Ontario Physiotherapy Association
explained, "This legislation will also enhance interprofessional collaboration
through a better understanding by the public and others in the health system
of what we can do based on our abilities and competencies. It will open doors
on how we can best contribute to the transformation of the health system in
Ontario."
    The provisions of the sections of the Bill amending the Physiotherapy
Act, 1991 are prompted by an extensive review conducted by the Health
Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC) last year. HPRAC's detailed
analysis and recommendations were relayed to the Minister in September 2008
and were released by the Ministry last November for public and stakeholder
comment.(1)
    "Once in force and effect, this legislation will have an immediate impact
on the healthcare delivery system in Ontario. There are over 6,800
physiotherapists registered to practise in Ontario and physiotherapists
practise in nearly every healthcare delivery stream: in hospitals, in
Community Health Centres, in long-term care homes and other collective
residences, in home care through Community Care Access Centres, in
community-based private and public clinics, in industry, in the rehabilitation
of injured workers under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and for
motor vehicle accident claimants", Mark Beadle explained. "Each stream will
benefit from this Bill."
    The OPA is now studying the details of the Bill and will be making
additional comments during its review by the Standing Committee.

    The Ontario Physiotherapy Association is the professional association for
physiotherapists in Ontario. The OPA currently represents over 4,800 members
and is the Ontario Branch of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.

    
    --------------------------------
    (1) "Review of the Scope of Practice of Physiotherapy", Chapter 5 of The
        Interim Report to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on
        Mechanisms to Facilitate and Support Interprofessional Collaboration
        among Health Colleges and Regulated Health Professionals: Phase II,
        Part I.
    

    BACKGROUNDER

    Physiotherapy is one of the oldest regulated healthcare professions in
Ontario. Beginning in 1954, physiotherapy was regulated under the Drugless
Practitioners Act. Since 1993 it has been regulated under the Regulated Health
Professions Act, 1991 and its profession-specific Act, the Physiotherapy Act,
1991.
    The professional regulatory body for physiotherapy in Ontario is the
College of Physiotherapists of Ontario established under the Physiotherapy
Act, 1991.
    There are currently over 6,800 physiotherapists registered to practise by
the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.
    In order to be eligible to apply for registration to practise as a
physiotherapist in Ontario an applicant must have graduated from an accredited
university physiotherapy program and successfully completed a national exam
and other conditions established by the College of Physiotherapists of
Ontario.
    Five universities in Ontario offer physiotherapy programs and graduates
in Ontario receive a Master's degree as their entry level qualification.
    Access to hospital in-patient or out-patient physiotherapy clinics is an
insured service under the Canada Health Act.
    Physiotherapy is one of the mandated services under the (Ontario)
Long-Term Care Act for home care services through Community Care Access
Centres.
    Physiotherapy for persons under 19 years of age, 65 years of age or older
and those on Ontario disability programs may obtain OHIP-funded physiotherapy
through community-based Designated Physiotherapy Clinics.
    All Long Term Care Homes in the province have access to funding for
physiotherapy services for their residents.
    Physiotherapy services for injured workers are paid for under the
(Ontario) Workplace Safety and Insurance Act
    Physiotherapy services for motor accident vehicle claimants are covered
under the Statutory Accidents Benefits Schedule under the (Ontario) Insurance
Act.
    Physiotherapy services are included in most extended health benefits
plans.
    The Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC) conducted a
scope of practice review of physiotherapy in 2008 and made its recommendations
to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care in September, 2008 (See:"Review
of the Scope of Practice of Physiotherapy", Chapter 5, An Interim Report to
the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on Mechanisms to Facilitate and
Support Interprofessional Collaboration Among Health Colleges and Regulated
Health Professionals: Phase II, Part 1.) Physiotherapy was also included in
HPRAC's "non-physician prescriber review" conducted in the Fall of 2008. (See:
"Prescribing and Use of Drugs in the Profession of Physiotherapy", Chapter 15,
Critical Links: Transforming and Supporting Patient Care.)

    
    Ontario Physiotherapy Association web site: http://www.opa.on.ca/

    College of Physiotherapists of Ontario web site:
    http://www.collegept.org/
    





For further information:

For further information: Dorianne Sauvé: (416) 322-6866 or (416)
579-4295; Mark Beadle: (519) 878-6577

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ONTARIO PHYSIOTHERAPY ASSOCIATION

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