Media advisory - Reported increase in occupational therapists in Canada is insufficient to meet rising demands

    Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists responds to CIHI report
    on "Workforce Trends of Occupational Therapists in Canada"

    OTTAWA, Nov. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - A report released today by the Canadian
Institute for Health Information (CIHI) indicates that the number of
occupational therapists in Canada has risen by 27% over five years from 2000
to 2005. This data confirms that occupational therapy is one of the fastest
growing professions in the health care system. Yet, according to the Canadian
Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT), despite constant growth in the
number of trained occupational therapists, Canadians continue to experience
problems with accessing occupational therapy services.
    "We are encouraged by the data that shows a rise in the supply of
occupational therapists in Canada, but we continue to be concerned about the
ability of the Canadian public to receive occupational therapy services," said
Dr. Susan Forwell, CAOT president. "The number of occupational therapists may
have increased, but shortages are reported in many provinces, particularly in
rural areas."
    The CIHI report indicates that 90% of the 11,400 occupational therapists
in Canada work in an urban centre. Almost one-third are also employed in
part-time positions, further reducing the availability of services to meet the
rising need for occupational therapy.
    The need for occupational therapy services is increasing due to the aging
population, greater awareness of the needs of individuals with disabilities,
deinstitutionalization of persons with mental illness and recognition of the
value of rehabilitation. As a result, a recent CAOT review of labour market
information and workforce studies indicates a strong demand for occupational
therapists across Canada.

    For further information, media representatives are invited to attend a

    Date:       Thursday, November 22, 2007

    Time:       5:00 pm

    Location:   The Enoch Turner Schoolhouse
                106 Trinity Street, Toronto

    Who:        Dr. Susan Forwell, CAOT President
                Josée Vallerand, Senior Analyst, CIHI

    About CAOT

    The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists was founded in 1926
and is a national, non-profit professional organization. It strives to advance
excellence in occupational therapy practice and to promote access to quality
occupational therapy services for all people of Canada. CAOT, along with its
provincial and territorial affiliates, represents over 10,000 occupational
therapists and almost 1,100 students.

For further information:

For further information: or to schedule an interview contact: Erica
Lyle, Communications Coordinator, Canadian Association of Occupational
Therapists, (800) 434-2268, ext. 225,

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Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

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