Our position

Multiple payers, both private and public, all with different funding models, fund physiotherapy services in Alberta. Physiotherapy Alberta supports the principle that funding mechanisms for physiotherapy services be sufficient to secure timely, reliable and quality physiotherapy for all Albertans, while balancing value to the consumer, financial fairness to the physiotherapy service provider and sustainability for the payer.

Background

Health care costs have grown exponentially in Canada, including Alberta. As such, there is recognition for the need to monitor and control health care spending. Funders of physiotherapy services are balancing their own fiscal responsibilities with their need to provide an affordable and sustainable funding model. This has resulted in a myriad of physiotherapy funding mechanisms each with different conditions on how to access service and on the amount of service funded.

Consumers of hospital-based services, by virtue of the Canada Health Act, often have access to publicly-funded services. Community services; however, vary considerably in availability, location and funding source. These variations have lead to inequalities in the level of service available and the amount of service funded. Albertans not eligible for public funding, workers compensation or auto insurance are required to use their extended health benefits or pay out-of-pocket. Often the most vulnerable Albertans (e.g., seniors or adults with chronic diseases) are without financial means to access needed physiotherapy services.

Funding inequalities combined with cost-control measures threaten the viability of delivering sustainable physiotherapy services to all Albertans. While physiotherapy services need to remain affordable, funding mechanisms should be adequate to secure quality physiotherapy care to all Albertans and provide fair compensation to the physiotherapy service provider.

Conclusion

Efforts to control health care costs have contributed to the evolution of different funding mechanisms for physiotherapy services in Alberta. This has created inequality in the level of service available to Albertans and financial uncertainty for physiotherapy service providers. Physiotherapy Alberta is committed to working collaboratively with funders in an effort to seek solutions that are fair, sustainable, and balance all stakeholder needs.

View the Funding for Physiotherapy in Alberta position statement as a PDF.