On August 8, the Government of Canada announced that it reached a tentative agreement with Bargaining Agents and retiree representatives on a renewed Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP).

In April 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada implemented temporary changes to the PSHCP that included a referral requirement for physiotherapy coverage. Since then, the CPA has strongly advocated for this requirement to be removed in order to alleviate administrative burdens on the health care system and ensure that federal public service workers and retirees have direct access to physiotherapy services.

The tentative agreement:

  • Removes the prescription requirement for physiotherapy
  • Removes the $500–$1,000 member-paid corridor for physiotherapy and institutes a new annual eligible maximum of $1,500 for physiotherapy

“We are pleased to see that the Government of Canada, Bargaining Agents, and retiree representatives have prioritized vital changes to the Public Service Health Care Plan, including the removal of the prescription requirement for physiotherapy,” said John-Paul Cody-Cox, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Physiotherapy Association. “However, preventative, early intervention, and ongoing physiotherapy care is critical to health and well-being, and we know that capped coverage can prevent retirees and those with complex needs from being able to access ongoing care. That is why the CPA will continue to advocate to ensure that all Canadians have barrier-free access to the physiotherapy services they need, when and as long as they need them.”

The tentative agreement is being presented to Treasury Board for ratification in the Fall, and the changes are expected to come into effect in July 2023. The CPA will continue to monitor its progress and advocate for an equitable approach to physiotherapy coverage that takes into consideration the needs of those with chronic conditions, and older and disabled populations.  


ACFO – ACAF. (August 8, 2022). “PSHCP Update: New tentative agreement reached.” Retrieved online.

CPA. (2022). Written Submission for the Pre-Budget Consultations in Advance of the 2022 Federal Budget. Retrieved online: https://www.ourcommons.ca/Content/Committee/441/FINA/Brief/BR11512965/br-external/CanadianPhysiotherapyAssociation-e.pdf

National Association of Federal Retirees. (August 8, 2022). Association delivers PSHCP Deal that prioritizes pensioners’ demands. Retrieved online: https://www.federalretirees.ca/en/news-views/news-listing/august/association-delivers-pshcp-deal-that-prioritizes-pensioners-demands

The Professional Institute of Public Service of Canada. (August 10, 2022). Major Updates to the Public Service Health Care Plan. Retrieved online: https://pipsc.ca/labour-relations/pension-benefits/major-updates-to-public-service-health-care-plan

Treasury Board of Canada. (August 8, 2022). Tentative Agreement Reached on a Renewed Public Service Health Care Plan. Retrieved online: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/tentative-agreement-reached-on-a-renewed-public-service-health-care-plan-898960428.html#:~:text=OTTAWA%2C%20ON%2C%20Aug.%208,employees%20and%20reasonable%20for%20Canadians


Kayla Scott

Senior Director, Advocacy
Canadian Physiotherapy Association

Caitlin Drake Smith
Senior Director, Strategic Communications
Canadian Physiotherapy Association