Let's Keep Adult Outpatient Physio and Occupational Therapy Public for Winnipeg, Manitoba!
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I have seen first-hand how crucial the public outpatient physio and occupational therapy services are for so many people.
The recent WRHA's decision to "delete" public outpatient physio and occupational therapy services is incredibly short-sighted. It is a measure that (at its best) will be ineffective at cost saving and (at its worst) could be severely detrimental to our economy and to our society.
This decision affects every one of us.
The services currently being provided are for everyday people, simply trying to get back to their day-to-day lives. They come from all walks of life and they have been affected by some kind of debilitating condition. They have been left unable to contribute to society as they once did. Provincially, any costs saved would likely be nullified (and then some) by the loss of productivity and increased long-term health care costs.
In June of 2016, I contracted a bacterial infection.
Up until this point in my life, I was relatively healthy with no serious health conditions. The infection came without warning, and within 24 hours of showing any symptoms, I was in the ICU. I had gone into septic shock, suffering from multi-organ failure. I was put into an induced coma for a week and a half. Following another week and a half of delirium, I woke up. I had suffered nerve damage across my entire body as a result of the intense treatment required to save me.
While the ICU staff kept me alive against all odds, it is the physiotherapy and occupational therapy departments that have helped me live again. Because of them, I was finally able to dance at my wedding this year (which had to be postponed due to my sickness).
Having been to private physio in the past and currently attending public physiotherapy, I am concerned that many will not get the complete care that they truly require. Private therapy can be incredibly effective for sports injuries and the like, but outpatients often suffer from more complicated long term conditions; conditions requiring very specialized and personalized therapy. Coordinating care between private and public services would be challenging and incredibly time-consuming. Proper therapy requires constant and direct communication between several medical practitioners; surgeons, neurologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, etc. Otherwise, patients may be left with life-long disabilities...
So, I ask you to please sign this petition with the hopes that the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and the Manitoba provincial government reconsider their decision. Together we can find a smarter solution. A solution with less detrimental implications to our province, to our city, and to everyone within.
Thank you so much for your time and please share this petition with your friends and loved ones.
- Cody Lee
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