I am writing to voice my concerns regarding the decision by the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to cut funding for physiotherapy services. I am worried about the impact these cuts will have on the health of Ontarians and our already overburdened health care system.
The Liberal government has framed the issue as a good-news story by announcing that it will provide 218,000 additional seniors and patients with better access to physiotherapy. But ministry documents paint a starkly different picture: they show the government has cut its projected physiotherapy budget from $200 million to $156 million, resulting in a projected cut of $44 million to physiotherapy services. In brief, the only way the government can manage expanding coverage while reducing the budget is to cut services to Ontarians who currently depend on multiple treatments annually.
Local health care providers that I have met with are also concerned that these short-sighted changes will hurt seniors by putting them at greater risk of experiencing falls, fractures and respiratory conditions. This reduction in care could result in people requiring emergency services, and thus, the actual cost for health care may rise as a result.