Cuts to Physiotherapy Services Continue to Harm Simcoe County’s Seniors

MIDLAND, ON – Today, Ontario PC Leader and Simcoe North candidate Patrick Brown visited the Villa Retirement Lodge in Midland to discuss how the Liberal Government’s cuts to physiotherapy services are impacting seniors.  The PC Leader was joined by Deputy Health and Long-Term Care Critic Bill Walker (Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound), and MPP Jim Wilson (Simcoe-Grey).

August 21, 2015 will mark the two-year anniversary of the Liberals cutting physiotherapy services for seniors by $50-million.  Since the changes, eligibility criteria has become so stringent, many seniors are limited to group exercise programs that aren’t targeted to meet varying individual needs.  Many who do qualify for physiotherapy services must travel to off-site community clinics.

“Physiotherapy services help keep seniors in good health longer, improving mobility, independence and quality of life,” said PC Leader Patrick Brown.  “Unfortunately, the Liberals continue to make short-sighted decisions that negatively impact the health of seniors.  Local nursing and retirement homes, such as the Villa Retirement Lodge, are experiencing an increased number of falls and injury among its residents.  We should be taking preventative measures to keep our aging population healthy and out of hospital, rather than trying to rehabilitate them once they suffer an injury.”

“Nothing is more important to us than to provide safe and exceptional care to our residents at the Villa Retirement Lodge,” added Nicole Maurice, General Manager of the Villa Retirement Lodge.  “Since the new program-based physiotherapy model was implemented, the Lodges has experienced an increase in falls, a problem also faced by many other retirement communities in Simcoe County.  In addition, our residents and families are finding the system more difficult to navigate as a result of the fragmented approach to services and having to deal with multiple providers."

Patrick Brown concluded, “Cuts to physiotherapy services disproportionately impact rural areas, where some communities are without a local clinic.  Seniors must now drive or find transportation to travel long distances to funded clinics.  Cuts to essential health care services are the result of the Liberal’s economic mismanagement.  Simcoe County deserves a government that makes the health of seniors a top priority.”