In response to the Federal Government’s announcement of a $1.1B commitment of funds to aid provinces and territories in grappling with the COVID-19 response, the CPA is advocating in support of physiotherapists and physiotherapist assistants to ensure that:
- Canadians have access to physiotherapy services, both intake assessments and subsequent treatments, via telemedicine, tele-rehabilitation, or virtual delivery modes. This would enable continued access/prevent service interruption for those who are situated in rural and remote settings, as well as for those in quarantine or where social distancing measures have been enacted or recommended.
- Physiotherapy practitioners can deliver care safely and effectively. The workforce is provided with the resources they require. The CPA calls for a portion of the $50M earmarked for personal protective equipment (PPE) to be provided to all rehabilitation professionals, including both PTs and PTAs, who are on the front lines and continue to provide care during the pandemic in various health care settings, including longer term care, primary care, and homecare.
A commitment of focused resources for all rehabilitation professionals responsible for the health of Canadians ensures the maintenance and provision of access for those with chronic/complex cases, the frail elderly, seniors in long-term care settings, and those with conditions that make them more susceptible to more serious or severe outcomes from COVID-19.
The CPA's Top Tips on Offering Tele-Rehab
- 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 privacy (see checklist).
- 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.
- Tele-Rehabilitation in Physiotherapy (College of Physiotherapists of Ontario)
- Publications (Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators)
- College Blog: Tele-Rehabilitation – Another Tool in Your Toolkit (College of Physiotherapists of Ontario)
- The CMA Urges National Coordination and Scaling Up of Virtual Care (Canadian Medical Association)
- Virtual Care and the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Ontario MD)