Target Shortages By Using Existing Health Care Providers More Effectively

Toronto, February 1, 2005 – The Canadian Chiropractic Association (The CCA) today supported the Canada Health Council call for collaboration among health professionals to improve the efficiency of the health care system and help address shortages of health professionals.

“Until the barriers to improved inter-professional collaboration are removed, we will continue to experience perceived shortages,” said The CCA President, Dr. Grayden Bridge. “The recent Canada Health Council report clearly identifies the need to reform the way primary health care is delivered through the use of multi-disciplinary teams and improved co-ordination of care.”

“Unfortunately, despite the recommendations of numerous national and provincial reports, we have yet to see any significant movement to ensure patients have access to the most appropriate care from the health care provider who is best qualified to provide it in the most cost-effective manner.”

The CCA pointed to the recent de-listing of chiropractic, optometry and physiotherapy services in Ontario and the de-listing of chiropractic services in British Columbia as short-sighted moves that will drive patients to the highest cost provider.

“For example, we know that back pain and related disorder cost the country up to $8 billion a year,” said Dr. Bridge. “Restricting patient access to chiropractic services for debilitating neuromusculoskeletal disorders will only increase drug expenditures and the cost of physician services.”

“Until we fundamentally reform the way health care is delivered in Canada, we will continue to increase health care expenditures with little improvement in access or quality of care,” said Bridge. “We applaud the Health Council for adding its voice to the need to develop new ways of delivering care and to remove the barriers that create divisions among our regulated health professions.”

The Canadian Chiropractic Association represents more than 5,400 licensed chiropractors. Chiropractic is a regulated health care profession recognized by statute in all Canadian provinces, and is one of the largest primary care health care professions in Canada. Every year approximately 4.5 million Canadians use chiropractic services. Chiropractors provide diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders related to the structures of the spine and joints.

For more information or to interview Dr. Bridge, please contact: Maureen McCandless, Director Communications 1-800-668-2076 or 416-781-5656.

Reprinted with permission from Canadian Chiropractic Association.