This is in response to Dr. Bruce Lidkea’s letter, “Eye care concerns,” which was published in the Fort Frances Times on Aug. 25, 2004.
Thank you for bringing the OHIP de-listing for optometry, chiropractic, and some physiotherapy from the McGuinty budget to the community’s attention. At this time, we would like to make the community aware of “back care concerns.”
OHIP coverage for chiropractic care for all citizens of Ontario will terminate some time this fall. Nov. 30 (Ministry of Health’s Help Line) or Dec. 1, 2004 (Finance minister Greg Sorbara) are the dates up for consideration.
Some 80 percent of Canadians (or four out of five people) will suffer back pain in their lifetime. According to Health Canada, back pain is an $8 billion per year issue in this country.
Many musculoskeletal problems and disorders can develop without any pain or other noticeable symptoms to the person. And without OHIP funding, many patients will be forced to seek no care—or to access more expensive care available in the public health care system.
Where there are family physician shortages, they will have to wait longer for care, or visit over-crowded and expensive emergency rooms.
A chiropractor is trained to access, diagnose, treat, and prevent disorders related to the spine, nervous system, and joints. Today, more than 1.2 million Ontarians depend on chiropractic care of treatment and relief of back and neck pain, headaches, and other musculoskeletal disorders.
(With OHIP), this cost-effective and efficient care allows patients to continue to function and lead healthy lives. Without this care, patients will experience increased pain, increased time off work, and greater disability.
Access to care will be severely affected as many patients will be unable to absorb the additional out-of-pocket costs resulting from “de-listing.”
While provincial government will save $93 million by eliminating chiropractic coverage, the additional direct costs from patients accessing physicians, emergency departments, and drugs will exceed $200 million.
The Ontario Chiropractic Association has a petition and letter for the provincial government to reconsider its decision on de-listing. This petition and letter may be signed at either chiropractic office in town.
We welcome you to stop by an office to sign these.
Visit the Ontario Chiropractic Association’s website (www.chiropractic.on.ca) for updates on details concerning spinal care in Ontario.
Thank you for allowing us to express our concerns.
Dr. Jeremy McGuire,