Issues facing physiotherapists in BC?
March 5, 2007 8:12 PM   Subscribe

Issues facing physiotherapists in BC?

So this Wednesday, my wife’s got an interview for the Masters of Physical Therapy program at UBC, and I’m trying to do what I can to help by finding out what kind of issues are facing physiotherapists in BC these days. Is there anybody who is currently working as a physio (or OT) in British Columbia that could help answer some questions? Here are some initial things I'm wondering:
  • What are some of the major frustrations with practicing physio in BC?
  • Does the government make it easier or harder to do your job?
  • What kind of a threat are massage therapists, chiropractors and naturopathists to your occupation? Are more people seeking these kinds of treatment over physio?
  • Do you wish that the Ministry of Health would offer rehab/physio subsidies to a broader range of people?
  • Do you think the “aging population” issue is realistic, or just a cliché?
  • Do you have any other personal gripes about how “the Man” is keeping physios down, or any other issues that you’d need to be a working physio to know?
Any help or insight at all would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
posted by Milkman Dan to Work & Money (2 answers total)
Re: The Man.

As a client of physio following a motor vehicle accident (which was not our fault), I am upset that our provincial vehicle insurance won't cover the full fee upfront. I also don't get any upfront coverage for childcare so I can go to physio or do my exercises. It's very stressful and expensive to go to physio on a regular basis, although I make sure I go as per doctor's orders. I know I can eventually sue for these expenses, but it's very costly in the meantime and affects my quality of life. At one point, my husband and I were both going twice a week. We had to shell out $25 for the extra fee, so this was $400 a month that we won't get back till our case is settled. When you combine this with the effects of the accident on my work/earnings, it's pretty harsh.

And, not that I'm an expert, but you could probably turn the aging population question on its head. Say that, yes, there are many people aging and retiring in BC, but that these people are living longer and far more active. And they have higher expectations for quality of life. So this has positive results for health, but may affect the services needed and demand for services.
posted by acoutu at 9:13 PM on March 5, 2007

I am not a physio but I am seeing one in BC. Clearly the lack of health coverage (even my extended health Blue Cross only covers 10$ / visit) is an impediment to people using them. WCB is the only way to get it all paid for, that I know of - even if "prescribed" by a doctor. So as a patient, there is a barrier, and if I don't get my condition treated, it will not just go away. Specifically, I have an ulnar nerve disorder that is aggravated by tendinitis in the elbow. Physio helps. The alternative (which may be inevitable without physio now) is an operation - and it would have to get worse and cause work/life-disruption before that was paid for -- even two weeks off work for a WCB would cost 10X all the physio I would ever need). So it is short sighted not to cover what is in essence preventitive, and therefore symptomatic of a much broader problem of too much resources on fixing problems, not enough preventing them in the first place, or dealing with them early stage.

So, in other words, pretty much what acoutu said.

I imagine this doesn't answer your question but since you didn't get many replies I thought I would toss it in.
posted by Rumple at 10:15 PM on March 5, 2007

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