College of Physiotherapists of Ontario Supports Proposed Scope of Practice Legislation

    TORONTO, May 11 /CNW/ - The College of Physiotherapists of Ontario (the
College), the regulatory body for Ontario's nearly 7000 physiotherapists,
today announced its support for new legislation that will give Ontarians
better access to the health care services they need. The bill called the
Regulated Health Professions Statute Law Amendment Act, was introduced May 11,
2009 by Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, David Caplan. It will
enable physiotherapists to order tests such as x-rays and will permit them to
diagnose patients' conditions that are within the scope of practice of the
profession of physiotherapy.
    This new legislation will expand the legislated scope of practice of
physiotherapists to conform more closely with their current competencies. The
Bill will also change the scopes of practice of a number of other health
professionals including nurses and pharmacists. These changes will help to
ensure that Ontario patients have improved access to safe and effective health
care services. The changes will also make possible the efficient and effective
use of the competencies of a variety of professionals which promotes
interprofessional collaborative care.
    Specifically, the changes will enable physiotherapists, who have
demonstrated the required education and competence, to provide additional
health care services such as ordering x-rays, to diagnose conditions that may
be identified using a physiotherapy assessment, and to treat wounds and
conditions including urinary incontinence or pelvic pain.
    Jan Robinson, College Registrar and CEO, commented that "the College
shares the government's commitment to improve the ability of Ontarians to
obtain the safe and effective health care they need and to also improve the
efficiency of the health care system by allowing physiotherapists and other
regulated health care professionals to practice to the full extent of their
education and competence."
    The College, as part of its statutory duty to protect the public interest
through the regulation of physiotherapists, is pleased to support the
Minister's implementation of this initiative through its role in setting both
standards and continuing competency measures.
    Lori Neill, President of the College Council and a practicing
physiotherapist, said "this legislation demonstrates the provincial
government's confidence in the ability of the province's health professionals
to assume additional responsibility in caring for the public - Ontarians can
rest assured that this confidence is not misplaced."
    To view the College's submission to the Health Professions Regulatory
Advisory Committee (HPRAC) and their report to the Minister, please visit the
College's website at

    About the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario

    First and foremost, the College exists to protect the public interest.
Unlike a professional association that acts to promote the interests of its
members, the College acts to protect the public interest by regulating and
continually improving the practice of physiotherapists. A wide range of
initiatives support this objective including:

      -  The development of ethical guidelines and standards of practice;
      -  Formal and informal partnerships with physiotherapy educators;
         professional associations, government, the insurance industry, other
         regulatory bodies and consumers;
      -  Ongoing monitoring of research activities and policy issues;
      -  Member education programs to prevent sexual abuse and avoid
         practices that could lead to complaints; and
      -  Activities to improve the quality of physiotherapy care and help
         registrants maintain competence throughout their professional lives.

    The College receives its regulatory authority from provincial legislation
called the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA). While the RHPA sets out
the common requirements for all health regulatory colleges, each college has a
profession-specific act - in the case of the physiotherapy profession, it is
the Physiotherapy Act, 1991.
    Under the provisions of the Physiotherapy Act, 1991, only those who are
registered with the College are permitted to use the title "physiotherapist"
or "physical therapist".
    The College is governed by a Council composed of 10 elected or appointed
members of the profession and seven members of the public who are appointed by
the government. The College is accountable to the Minister of Health and
Long-Term Care to act in the best interests of the public.

For further information:

For further information: Karin Micheelsen, Director of Communications,
Tel: (416) 591-3828 or 1-800-583-5885, Ext. 234, Email:,

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