LET RMT's WORK IN ALBERTA AS A REGULATED HEALTH CARE PRACTIONER

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LET RMT's WORK IN ALBERTA AS A REGULATED HEALTH CARE PRACTIONER

This petition made change with 428 supporters!
mandy perrier started this petition to CMMOTA and

THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE

The Massage Therapists of Alberta have received the mandate, that was made without consultation with associated stakeholders. The mandate to have a referral in order to permit massage therapists in Alberta to provide care is insulting, unnecessary and provides more barriers to care in a healthcare system that is already overloaded. We have the right to know the reasoning behind this decision.

- The requirement to have a permission slip to provide the care that we have been safely and successfully providing since the spring (and before that time) is nonsensical. The current PPE requirements are in line with every other province, and many other Regulated Health Practitioners guidelines, none of which have mandated permission slips in place before care can be provided under lockdown restrictions.

- Requiring that a person obtain a a referral from a list of healthcare professionals, some of whom would not be permitted to write referrals at any other time, provides barriers to care.

- The online options to obtain this referral are not a solution for some who would prefer that their private healthcare information not be disseminated to online platforms.

- This mandate increases workload for practitioners asked to write these referrals, and there seems to be nothing in place to mandate them to have to write, leaving massage therapists businesses and financial security at risk.

- Healthcare providers who are permitted to write these referrals are now charging upwards of $50 per referral. Some are billing insurers, and bleeding funds from healthcare services that the insured person may wish to use, but now may not be able to because these funds are allocated to permission slip writing for massage therapy. Our clients now have to choose between seeing us and losing some of their other healthcare coverage, or not receiving massage therapy and the effects of that decision.

- A note does nothing to increase client safety, minimize exposure or support mental and physical health of the public in care of massage therapists.

- This decision is not only a nuisance in the current time, but is a potential risk to the future of massage therapy in Alberta. If insurers determine that this new hoop decreases claims and saves money, how can therapists be assured that it won't become a permanent requirement? This would put massage therapists in danger of long term financial damage to their practices. The viability of massage therapy as a livelihood is at risk.

*** I ask that the following questions be addressed:

How and who offered this as an option for return to work? What was the discussion and reasoning around this decision?

Has the MOH mandated the note as a requirement for treatment and that other HCPs are mandated to provide this note, or is that up to their discretion?

Were other associations/colleges/regulatory bodies who represent these "note writers" consulted before this decision was made? What was their response? Were insurance companies involved in this discussion? How?

How does a note mitigate any issues around transmission of the virus? How does it improve safety of our clients? How does it improve care?

Was there discussion about what this note might mean for the future of RMTs in AB? ie. what the potential long term effects to our livelihood may be if insurers see this as a way to decrease claims and therefore push to have this continue as a requirement.

If limiting points of contact is a goal of restrictions related to lockdowns, how was requiring a note even an option as this would increase points of contact?

Is there a document that indicates that this is only a short term approach? What is the language of that document? Who makes the decision to lift this requirement? What are the conditions that need to be in place for it to be lifted?

I ask that the Alberta Government address these concerns.

I expect my government and government representatives to be concerned about our ability to be financially secure, and that our profession be viable in the future.

We need and demand that our profession become regulated, and we be allowed to return to normal practices, without the requirement of a "permission" note as this defies logic in every possible way. To further this, we are currently the only province of which RMT's are expected to collect a referral from clients, this includes other unregulated provinces.

Regulation would safe guard our industry and is far overdue in this province.

We realize regulation does take time, however in the meantime, steps need to be taken to safe guard our industry and ensure permission/referral notes are a thing of the past and remains a part of the past, as soon as possible.

* This will echo the concerns of most RMTs in AB, and I certainly believe this requires attention.

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