Due to the high volume of member inquiries regarding COVID-19, the CPA has developed these FAQs to answer the most common questions we’ve received from members. As always, please check with your local regulator for specific guidance in your province. 

Table of Contents:

I. Practice Guidelines 

Infection Control 
Legal Implications of Transmitting COVID-19 to Patients 
Personal Protective Equipment 
Aerosol Generating Procedures 
Health Care Practitioner Rosters 
Training 
Acute Care Guidelines 
Guidelines for Other Settings 
Executive Summary of Acute Care Guidelines 

II. Tele-Rehabilitation/Virtual Care 

Insurance Coverage 
How-to Guide for Tele-Rehabilitation 
Virtual Health Care/Tele-Rehabilitation Tools 
Privacy/Consent 
Facetime
Tele-Rehab for Groups
 
Insurance Coverage List 
Jurisdiction 
CPA’s Insurance Advocacy Initiatives 

III. Financial and Business Support  

Financial Support Offered by the Federal Government 
CERB Details 
Business Interruption Insurance 
Lay Offs 
Maintaining Your Patient Load 
Preparing Your Clinic to Reopen 
Offers from CPA Partners 

IV. Advocacy 

Role of Physiotherapy in Outbreak Management 
Asks of the Federal Government  
Statement on Our Ask Re: CERB for PTs 

I. PRACTICE GUIDELINES 

How can we maintain social distancing when so much of our work involves direct physical contact with patients/clients? 

In support of the recommendations by Public Health authorities to optimize social distancing, we recommend that physiotherapy services in the community only be offered to patients with urgent needs.  

We strongly recommend postponing care and services if the patient's condition permits or providing them virtually, if possible. We recognize that these are exceptional times that require exceptional measures aimed to reduce the spread of the virus and to reduce the demand on the health system.  

Please check with your local regulator for specific guidance in your province: https://physiotherapy.ca/cpas-covid-19-update 

 

What steps can I take to prevent or limit transmission of COVID-19? 

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada, 2020. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals.html#i 

Infection Prevention and Control 

In the absence of effective drugs or vaccines, infection prevention and control (IPC) strategies to prevent or limit transmission of COVID-19 in health care facilities include: 

  • Prompt identification
  • Appropriate risk assessment
  • Management and placement of probably and confirmed cases
  • Investigation and follow-up of close contacts
  • Early recognition and source control
  • Prompt identification
  • Appropriate risk assessment
  • Management and placement of probably and confirmed cases

To facilitate Early Recognition and Source Control 

  • Traige for identification and appropriate placement (source control) of patients
  • Masks, tissues, and alcohol-based hand rubs (AHBR) should be available at entrances
  • Signage should be posted to instruct symptomatic patients to alert health care workers, thus prompting completion of a patient-screening questionnaire

If a person presents symptoms of an influenza-like illness and, within 14 days before the onset of illness, has travelled outside of Canada and/or been in close contact with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 or someone who has travelled outside of Canada: 

  • Place the patient in a designated separate waiting area or space
  • Encourage the patient with signs and symptomsof an acute respiratory infection to perform respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette and provide tissues, AHBR, and a waste receptacle
  • Limit visitors to only those who are essential
  • Do not cohort with other patients (unless necessary, in which case cohort only with patients confirmed to have COVID-19

Application of Routine Practices and Additional Precautions 

The application of routine practices and additional precautions (RPAP) is based on a point-of-care risk assessment (PCRA). Health care workers (HCWs) should use a risk assessment approach before and during each patient interaction to evaluate the likelihood of exposure. 

In addition to the consistent application of routine practices, follow contact and droplet precautions. This includes the appropriate selection and use of all of the following personal protective equipment (PPE): 

  • Gloves
  • A long-sleeved gown
  • Facial protection, such as a surgical/procedural mask and eye protection, a faceshield, or a surgical/procedural mask with a visor attachement
  • An N95 respirator (plus eye protection) should be used when performin aerosol-generating medical procedures (AGMPs) on a person under investigation (PUI) for COIVD-19

Hand hygiene should be performed whenever indicated, paying particular attention to during and after removal of PPE and after leaving the patient care environment. 

Treatment 

There is currently no vaccine against, or specific treatment for, COVID-19. Treatment is supportive and should be tailored to the patient's condition. 

The WHO has published guidance on the clinical management of severe acute respiratory infection when novel coronavirus infection is suspected. 

 

If I infect a patient without knowing I have COVID-19 while rendering care and am insured, will my liability insurance protect me? 

Please visit the CPA's Statement: BMS: COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions (question #2) for more information from our insurance broker, BMS Group. 

 

Can the CPA provide access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as masks and gowns? 

The CPA does not have access to these resources. 

We are working to better understand how physiotherapists can get access; however, supply conversations are being managed by the Government of Canada and are presently prioritizing acute care settings. 

We will continue to provide updates as they become available via physiotherapy.ca/covid-19.  

 

How is the CPA contributing to/supporting the management of the outbreak in the hospital setting? 

The CPA is working with our partners across the country to support the ongoing management of the outbreak, offering our support and recognizing the critical roles physiotherapists play in supporting the health care system. 

Currently, we are: 

  • Supporting the regulators who have created rosters of health care professionals to mobilize as demand increases in hospitals
  • Supporting the deployment of the federal government roster for those provinces who have yet to establish a procinical list
  • Collating resources and training materials that can be used by hospitals and regulators to upskill their rosters
  • Offering our unwavering support forother initiatives to be determined in conjunction with regulators, Ministries of Health, and hospitals

In addition to supporting the efforts being led by our partners in the Emergency Response phase, the CPA is committed to leading the development of a comprehensive Recovery Plan in support of the health care system and addressing the critical needs changes in the profession of physiotherapy. 

 

How can I help as a physiotherapist during the management of the COVID-19 outbreak? 

Over the past two weeks, the CPA has been working actively with its partners at the Branches and the Provincial Colleges to equip the Ministries of Health with health care practitioner rosters. We recognize that physiotherapists have an essential role to play in addressing the stress placed in the hospital setting as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

While Ontario and Quebec have created formal rosters (see below), the CPA is now supporting the federal government’s development of a national roster for those provinces not currently managing their own lists.  

To apply for the federal government list: https://emploisfp-psjobs.cfp-psc.gc.ca/psrs-srfp/applicant/page1800?toggleLanguage=en&poster=1437722 

Ontario and Quebec both have active calls for health care practitioners, including physiotherapists, which you can submit to (you do not need to add your name to both the federal and provincial lists). 

Quebec: https://oppq.qc.ca/membres/actualites-et-dossiers/appel-anciens-membres/ 

Ontario: https://www.collegept.org/news/2020/03/23/government-announcement-covid-19-recruitment-of-health-care-providers 

If you are considering returning to practice (from retirement, etc.), please review the Returning to Practice During COVID-19 Professional Liability Considerations document provided by the CPA’s Insurance Broker, BMS Group.

 

What kind of educational resources are available for physiotherapists related to COVID-19? 

The CPA is working to ensure information is made available to physiotherapists across the country to support the management of the COVID-19 outbreak and to support our partners at the Ministries of Health, Provincial Colleges and hospitals as they make human resource decisions in anticipation of demand.  

We’ve been collaborating with our Division experts and international physiotherapy association colleagues on accessing, creating, and sharing training and tools for physiotherapists. 

The CPA's Cardiorespiratory Division has four courses available that may be of interest to physiotherapists affected by the global pandemic of COVID-19. These courses include: 

The fee has been waived and these courses are available at no charge. If you are a CPA member, please use your CPA member login information to access Embodia by visiting the CPA's PD Marketplace. Non-CPA members can create a free Embodia account to access these courses. 

In addition, the CPA continues to source and develop educational resources with our Cardiorespiratory Division and other international experts which we’ll publish on physiotherapy.ca/covid-19 as they become available. 

 

Do clinical guidelines exist for the management of physiotherapy in the hospital setting? 

Yes, the CPA has recently endorsed “Physiotherapy Management for COVID-19 in the Acute Hospital Setting: Recommendations to guide clinical practice”. 

An international team of expert researchers and clinicians, including lead author Dr. Peter Thomas, PhD, BPhty (Hons), within the intensive care and acute cardiorespiratory fields have developed these recommendations for physiotherapy management for COVID-19 in the acute hospital setting. It includes recommendations for physiotherapy workforce planning and preparation, a screening tool for determining requirement of physiotherapy, recommendations for the selection of physiotherapy treatments, and personal protective equipment. 

 

Is there a one-pager or executive summary of the clinical guidelines endorsed by the CPA? 

No, there currently isn’t a version of an executive summary of the clinical guidelines, however, the CPA is supporting the development of a two-page guide for physiotherapists working with COVID-19 patients. The guideline will include information about the role of rehabilitation professionals in management of patients with COVID-19 from acute care or subacute care, and back to the community. It will be based on the “Physiotherapy Management for COVID-19 in the Acute Hospital Setting: Recommendations to guide clinical practice” research document endorsed by the CPA. 

Once the document is available, the CPA will release that information on our website at physiotherapy.ca/covid-19. 

II. TELE-REHABILITATION/VIRTUAL CARE 

Does my professional liability insurance policy follow me if I provide care by other means, such as telehealth? 

The CPA Professional Liability Insurance policy has no restrictions for physiotherapists delivering their professional services via telehealth as long as the insured is acting within their scope of practice and licensed jurisdiction. 

Please visit the CPA’s Statement: BMS: COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions (question #3) for more information from our insurance broker, BMS Group. 

 

Does my Clinic Professional Liability Insurance extend to cover claims related to telehealth services? 

Please visit the CPA’s Statement: BMS: COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions (question #5) for more information from our insurance broker, BMS Group. 

 

What Cyber Security & Privacy Liability coverage is available through the CPA Insurance Program, and what does it protect against? 

Please visitthe CPA’s Statement: BMS: COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions (question #4) for more information from our insurance broker, BMS Group. 

 

Can the CPA provide guidance on offering tele-rehabilitation? 

The CPA continues to create, collate, and update its COVID-19 resource page regarding tele-rehabilitation: https://physiotherapy.ca/tele-rehabilitation. 

  1. Make an informed decision to offer tele-rehab; practitioners should ensure that they know and comply with related practice requirements, per their local regulator, and have the appropriate technological capability to ensure safety and privacyAs you consider your optionscheck out thischecklist provided by expert contributor Jen O’Neil; you can also review the COVID-19 Virtual Health Care Services Continuing Continuity of Care guideline provided by BMS Group here. 

  1. Stay informed of the insurance implications of tele-health through our frequently asked questions guide from BMS Group available hereas well as by checking out this webinar: Current State of COVID-19: Tele-Rehabilitation and Business Interruption Insurance [Webinar] (March 17). 

  1. Patient’s privacy and consent are primary importance in offering tele-rehab services. Consult the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR)’s website for additional information. You can also review this resource related to increased cyber security risks as a result of COVID-19 provided by BMS Group. 

  1. Make sure you consider all of your options when it comes to tele-health and virtual health care tools and select the one that works best for you and your specific situation. We have created a list of tools here for your consideration. 

As always, the CPA encourages members to consult with their regulatory body and to ensure that you are informed and prepared to provide virtual care, keeping patient safety, risk management, privacy, and consent at the forefront of decision-making; and to ensure the standards of practice are met in each virtual engagement. 

 

Which tele-rehabilitation platform does the CPA recommend? 

The CPA recognizes that there is a demand for tele-health options in light of the COVID-19 outbreak and have provided some options at https://physiotherapy.ca/tele-health-partners-offers. 

Be sure you're informed before deciding to use a tele-rehabilitation provision by informing yourself of your regulator's guidelines, your insurance policies, billing requirements for third party payers, and other relevant information. 

 

Can FaceTime be used to deliver tele-rehabilitation? 

Facetime can be used, but it is known to be less secure than other platforms.  If FaceTime is used, then the practitioner needs to make sure that the patient is aware of its limitations and that it is appropriate for the type of service to be provided. 

 

Is the patient's privacy and confidentiality (assuming they have signed a written consent form) sufficiently protected using this video call technology?  

As with all service provision offered over the phone or virtually, the practitioner is responsible for ensuring they follow regulatory requirements. Patient safety, privacy, and consent are of utmost importance and should remain central in providing care. Please contact the college in your practice jurisdiction. Additional information can be accessed via https://physiotherapy.ca/cpas-position-tele-rehabilitation 

 

Does the CPA provide tele-rehab consent forms to give to PTs for their patients? 

The CPA’s partners at Gowling WLG and BMS Group have developed a standardized tele-rehabilitation/virtual care consent form. You can access this form here. 

Please note: this form was update on April 2, 2020 to address a language issue and the new version of the form should be used. 

 

Can I provide tele-rehabilitation sessions for a group of people? 

The CPA has received this question from the CPA membership and is currently working with its expert partners to provide a clear answer. This information will be updated as soon as we have clarity from our legal and insurance teams. 

 

Can the CPA provide a list of insurance covering tele-rehabilitation services? 

The CPA is working together with its Branches to identify which insurance companies have policies which cover tele-rehabilitation and virtual services. This is a complicated task as many insurance companies have policies which changes province to province or plan to plan. 

We are reviewing whether we can accommodate this ask and will share more information as it becomes available. 

 

Can you clarify the scope of tele-rehabilitation cross-provincial borders? (E.g. As a physiotherapist of a major Games team, my athletes have all returned home to various provinces to respect physical distancing; can I treat those athletes through tele-rehabilitation and be covered by my Professional Liability Insurance?) 

Per BMS Group’s provided guidance: “The CPA PLI policy has no additional restrictions for physiotherapists delivering their professional services via telehealth, as long as the insured is acting within their scope of practice and licenced jurisdiction(s). Standard policy conditions apply. There are additional considerations for professionals utilizing technology.  If you are transitioning your practice to tele-health, it’s recommended that you consider Cyber Security & Privacy Liability coverage.”  

Please refer to the Virtual Health Care Services – Ensuring Continuity of Care article linked here. 

Regarding jurisdiction: “When one party is out of jurisdiction, you must consider whether you need special permission from the foreign jurisdiction to provide the care and understand the guidelines, standards, and legislation that apply in that jurisdiction and ensure that you are compliant with them.” (See page 2 – here.) 

For specific questions about your policy, please contact cpa.insurance@bmsgroup.com. For more information on jurisdiction, please consult with your local regulator and the regulator of the province which your patient is located. 

 

What is the CPA doing to lobby insurance companies and WSIB to approve/pay for tele-rehabilitation appointments (via phone or video conferencing)? 

The CPA has been working with our stakeholders to advocate on behalf of physiotherapists with insurance companies. 

In particular, the CPA has been in direct contact with the following companies in just the last week (as of April 3rd): 

  • Sun Life
  • Manulife 
  • Blue Cross 
  • Green Shield 
  • Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association  

In addition, the CPA has lent support to its Branches who are also advocating with insurers from various companies. 

As of April 3, 2020, our advocacy team has: 

  1. Drafted an advocacy strategy;
  2. Had discussions with Sun Life to provide coverage of tele-rehabilitation/virtual care; and
  3. Outreached to the provincial/territorial associations to gather and collate feedback on the following: a) recommendations from the workers compensation board (e.g. WSIB) provider or equivalent; b) a listing of the major Extended Health Benefits and carriers by province/territory; c) what each provider is recommending for physiotherapy and coverage regarding telehealth/virtual services including billing, privacy, and patient consent; d) awareness of other funders/measures in place for telerehabilitation or virtual care offerings that will cover physiotherapy services 
  4. The CPA has partnered with other health care organizations through the Extended Health Professions Coalition (EHPC) and Organizations for Health Action (HEAL) to advocate and align with the insurance industry
  5. The CPA brought together the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association and Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators to discuss tele-rehabilitation  

Recent advocacy wins: 

On March 24, 2020, Sun Life announced its commitment to provide coverage for virtual health care services.  

On March 26, 2020, the Public Service Health Care Plan announced the temporary suspension of requiring a doctor’s referral to access physiotherapy treatment 

III. FINANCIAL AND BUSINESS SUPPORT 

How can I access financial support while practices are closed?  

On March 25, 2020, the federal government released more information about the Canada Emergence Response Benefit (CERB). The CERB will be a $2,000/month support for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Highlights 

“The CERB would cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. The CERB would apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).” 

“The portal for accessing the CERB would be available in early April.” 

“Canadians will begin to receive their CERB payments within 10 days of application. The CERB would be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.” 

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan also includes the following measures for businesses: 

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: Covers 75% of salaries paid between March 15 and June 6, 2020 for qualifying businesses, to a maximum of $847 per week per employee, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This program is designed to help employers to keep and retain workers. 
  • Organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may qualify for the Wage subsidy of 10% of remuneration paid from March 18 to before June 20, 2020. This provides eligible small businesses with a 10 per cent wage subsidy for the next 90 days, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Employers benefiting from this measure would include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as not-for-profit organizations and charities.  This will help employers keep people on their payroll and help Canadians keep their jobs.
  • Business Credit Availability Program: Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada are working with financial institutions to provide $65 billion in direct lending and other types of financial support at market rates to businesses with viable business models whose access to financing would otherwise be restricted. Eligible businesses can access this by working directly with their current financial institution.
  • Canada Emergency Business Account: Provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019. This program will roll out in the three weeks after March 27 and interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions.

​The CPA will continue to provide updates on these and other relevant measures as they become available. The CPA's website has a section to help make members aware of new supports the Government of Canada is providing for Canadians. Please follow this link for the latest information: CPA Statement: Government of Canada COVID-19 Economic Response Plan (March 18).

 

From my understanding, the Canadian Economic Response Benefit (CERB) requires applicants to have no income, however, I am offering limited tele-health services for my patients for a fraction of my regular income. How can the CPA help? 

On April 6, 2020, the Prime Minister indicated that modifications to the CERB will be implemented to ensure that people do not fall through the cracks. Our advocacy team will continue to champion these modifications and provide the physiotherapy perspective in discussion with the government.

To date, the CPA has been in active discussion with a number of federal government ministries to help them understand the complexity of the economic impacts on physiotherapists, as well as demonstrate the critical role physiotherapists play in treating patients through physical distancing. 

The CPA’s position: As PTs turn to technology to deliver care and treatment that patients need during the COVID-19 outbreak, they should not be penalized by being excluded from government supports. We are asking the government to include a modest income allowance within the CERB. 

The CPA will continue to work diligently to advocate for modifications to the CERB to ensure that physiotherapists are supported by this measure, including active discussions through HEAL, EHPC, the Office of the Minister of Small Business, the Office of the Minister of Finance, and Employment and Social Development Canada. 

We will continue to advocate on this issue, actively. 

For more information on federal government initiatives, employment law, and the current state, please check out: 

 

Does my Business Interruption Insurance provide coverage for closure due to COVID-19? 

Per the statement provided by our insurance broker: “typically, business interruption insurance only covers quantifiable physical losses. For example, replacing inventory or repairing property. Absent these particular circumstances, it is not likely coverage would be triggered in the COVID-19 scenario we now face.” 

BMS Group continues to advocate for, and stay abreast of the changing situation, with our insurer as the landscape changes.  

For more information on business interruption insurance, see: 

For more information, please contact BMS. 

 

Should I lay off my employees? 

The CPA is not in a position to offer specific advice regarding layoffs; however, we have added this to our queue with our lawyers and insurance company for clarification in order to ascertain whether a broad statement would apply. If it does, we will prepare and disseminate one as soon as possible.  

IV. ADVOCACY  

What is the CPA’s position on the physiotherapist’s role in outbreak management in the acute setting? 

The CPA and its members recognize the vital role we play as a partner in the health care system. We are proud of the role our members are playing actively, helping across the country, and extend our continued collaboration with our partners to activate and mobilize as many physiotherapists as possible to support the efforts addressing COVID-19. 

Whether its mobilizing in hospital or other acute care settings, aligning with physical distancing, providing tele-rehabilitation to patients, treating urgent patients in the community, or preparing for the rehabilitation we’re anticipating in the Recovery Phase, physiotherapists are a vital part of the effort against COVID-19. 

Physiotherapy and rehabilitation play an essential role in the context of infectious disease outbreaks. 

Physiotherapy can mitigate adverse impacts due to respiratory and mobility complications associated with infectious disease outbreaks. 

The care and treatment offered by physiotherapists is crucial in keeping Canadians healthy and active, and in preventing the need to access urgent or emergency services in-hospital. 

Physiotherapy can reduce the burden on the medical system through improving patient function and independence, and allowing them to return to their homes sooner, freeing up much needed hospital resources. 

Physiotherapy is important to improve physical and mental well-being for patients diagnosed with an infectious disease, as well as for those in isolation and self-quarantine. 

Physiotherapy can help Canadians to return to their communities, families, and employment faster, thus reducing the societal and financial impacts of infectious disease. 

As health care professionals, physiotherapists are trained in, and adhere to, strict infection control practices to keep Canadians safe. 

The CPA urges members to frequently check in on the advice provided by your provincial regulator and by the Public Health Agency of Canada.   

As front line health care service providers, physiotherapists play a crucial role in: 

  • Infectious disease symptom recognition;
  • Patient education and direction to support appropriate and timely treatment decisions; 
  • Treating and advising patients who have experienced adverse outcomes, in both the acute phase and in longer term recovery; and 
  • Treating respiratory conditions due to the infection, and in maintaining function, flexibility, strength, and mobility while mitigating secondary complications from isolation conditions, such as muscle wasting, blood clots, weakness due to de-conditioning, and negative effects on psychological well-being.

 

What is the CPA’s position on the current CERB?  

As PTs turn to technology to deliver care and treatment that patients need during the COVID-19 outbreak, they should not be penalized by being excluded from government supports. We’re asking the federal government to consider including a modest income allowance within the CERB. 

 

What is the CPA’s position on insurance coverage for tele-rehabilitation? 

The CPA would like to thank the insurance companies across the country who have changed policies to provide coverage for virtual health care services. We applaud those who have made the required changes for showing the necessary leadership to enable Canadians to continue to access care needed to regain mobility, maintain health, and manage pain while limiting exposure to COVID-19 by staying home. The commitment to reimburse for tele-rehab consultations and virtual visits with physiotherapists also gives patients and providers some much needed financial certainty during an otherwise uncertain time. Thank you for helping to keep Canadians and communities healthy and safe.  We look forward to engaging in ongoing collaborative relationships with other major insurance carriers to support Canadians during this time. 

The CPA strongly believes in the importance of coverage of tele-rehabilitation and virtual health care services, and, with its Branches, is continuing to advocate that other third-party insurance providers take steps to scale up coverage. We are also working with the federal and provincial governments to ensure physiotherapists are recognized as health care service providers eligible to access any government funding to support tele-rehabilitation and virtual provision of care that is issued as part of the COVID-19 response.  

As always, the CPA encourages members to consult with their regulatory body and to ensure that you are informed and prepared to provide virtual care, keeping patient safety, risk management, privacy, and consent at the forefront of decision-making. 

 

What are the CPA’s current asks of the federal government? 

The CPA Calls on the Government of Canada to support and protect physiotherapists through the COVID-19 Response by: 

  • Including physiotherapy in urgent care centres and the treatment of individuals affected by infectious diseases. 
    • Providing care early reduces long-term effects, improves patient function, and allows individuals to return to work sooner. Thus, reducing the social and financial impact of infectious disease for all Canadians. 
       
  • Providing priority access to, and funding for, provision of personal protective equipment for physiotherapists and physiotherapist assistants. 
    • Access to personal protective equipment ensures that physiotherapists and physiotherapist assistants can provide essential quality care to patients while observing necessary infection control protocols. 
       
  • Recognizing physiotherapists as health care service providers eligible to access government funding to support tele-rehab and virtual provision of care. 
    • As clinics respond to, and comply with, social distancing protocols, it will be increasingly important to enable delivery of care by virtual means. 
       
  • Providing funding to support physiotherapy clinic owners who temporarily close to respect the social distancing protocols being adopted in Canada. 
    • Compensation to offset losses faced by clinics who suspend services to flatten the curve will help stabilize access to essential rehabilitation services as a component of a longer-term response. 

 

What is the CPA’s current position on the temporary suspension of doctor referrals for access to physiotherapy within the PSHCP?  

The CPA applauds the decision by the Government of Canada to temporarily remove the referral requirement for coverage of physiotherapy services from the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP). The requirement for a referral has been lifted through April 24, 2020. 

This move will increase access to physiotherapy services required during the COVID-19 outbreak without placing additional administrative burdens on the health care system. We welcome this initiative and the prioritization of access to physiotherapy at this time and believe the requirement for a referral under the PSHCP should be eliminated altogether. The CPA will continue to work with the federal government to advocate for the permanent extension of this temporary measure.