HSA welcomes Fraser Health Authority decision to drop privatized physiotherapy plan

Last November, rehabilitation therapists in the Fraser Health Authority were alarmed by the health authoritys announced plans to -partner" with private vendors to provide post-surgical physiotherapy.

However, the FHA has recently abandoned those plans.

HSA President Reid Johnson says the health authority is making the right decision.  -Currently, the FHA performs between 2,400 and 2,800 arthroplasty surgeries each year, including hip and knee replacements," he said.  -The health authoritys plans included various alarming elements, including diverting patients covered by extended health plans to obtain private rehabilitation therapy," he said.

When the union learned of the -request for expressions of interest" issued by the health authority to various for-profit rehabilitation service corporations, HSA was immediately concerned.

-The union questioned various aspects of the process, including whether excluding service provision to patients based on their ability to pay violates the Canada Health Act," he said.  -Our members who work in rehabilitation therapy were concerned about the potential impact to patients of such a ‘partnership with for-profit rehab service providers," he said.

-HSA will continue to emphasize that publicly provided rehabilitation services remains by far the most rational, cost-effective model.  Ultimately, publicly provided rehab delivers the best results for post-surgical patients.  That should be the ultimate measure," Johnson said.

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