I don't believe the majority of Ontario realizes why, and they need to!
She is self-employed, billing her hours to the Physiotherapist who she works under in one of Ontario's Long Term Care homes. This means she won't be eligible for Employment Insurance when she is done. She cares about her clients - who are seniors in the seniors home she works at. " I can always find another job, but what about these people...what will they do now."
So...what has happened that she and hundreds of others will be out of work starting on August 1st?
On April 18, 2013, it was announced that:
"More Seniors to Benefit from Physiotherapy and Exercise"
"New Ontario Government Expanding Access to Care for Seniors"
These headlines are seen as "good news", but when you look closer into the details, they include a substantial cut in services to physiotherapy within long-term care homes.
Currently, residents of long term care homes can receive up to 100 visits a year within their residence. They do not need to travel anywhere: staying within their own residence and not having to travel is a major thing for seniors who do not drive, are not ambulatory, or who don't have friends or family to drive them to physiotherapy appointments at clinics.
This is changing. It's been difficult to find the specific information online, but it seems that physiotherapy visits within long term care facilities will only be for those who are in dire need of it, and then, it will be a maximum of 12 visits a year. Anything beyond that, and they will need to pay for it themselves since OHIP will no longer be covering it, AND they will need to travel to a physiotherapy clinic. Since many of these seniors no longer drive, this puts a strain on their friends and family, assuming they have people in their lives who are available, to drive them to and from appointments.
My parents are not at the age or physical state to need to be in Long Term Care at the moment, but I feel for those families who these changes are affecting. The decrease in service will inevitably lead to less mobility, and more hospital visits for many of these seniors. Also, since many seniors will not be able to afford private physiotherapy costs, many of those currently employed as Physiotherapy Assistants are going to need to be looking for a new career.
A few quick articles for you to take a browse through follow:
My friend was passing out the following petition to sign. Feel free to print a copy, sign and have friends sign and send to your local MPP.