Allow Canadian healthcare professionals to perform virtual care & be eligible for the CERB
This petition made change with 22,438 supporters!
In doing their part to "flatten the curve" of the COVID-19 pandemic, allied health professionals have closed their clinics in order to protect their patients, families and the public at large. To continue to help their patients many of these healthcare professionals have started performing telerehabilitation treatments. High-quality research has shown that home-based telerehabilitation is an effective way to reduce hospital utilization and emergency room visits (Vasilopoulou et al. 2017 & Kairy et al. 2009). Reducing this form of hospital visit has been cited time and again by the federal government as a way to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and allied health professionals are evidently doing their part to further this effort.
Although healthcare professionals are earning an extremely small percentage of their regular salary performing these crucial treatments, they have been deemed ineligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The CERB states that workers are only eligible when they "are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period"; systematically eliminating these hard-working healthcare professionals from this benefit. This leaves these professionals to choose between serving their patients and providing for their families, and many are choosing to put themselves second and continue to offer treatments.
We believe that healthcare professionals providing telerehabilitation services should not be forced to make this decision. The ineligibility of these professionals from the CERB hurts all parties involved. It harms healthcare professionals by forcing them to make the choices cited above, patients by limiting their access to care or forcing them to visit hospitals where they may be exposed to COVID-19 and the small business in which these clinicians normally practice as they are no longer producing revenue to keep the doors open when the pandemic comes to a close.
We ask the federal government to re-evaluate the criteria for the CERB and allow healthcare to perform telerehabilitation treatments while maintaining their eligibility for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit.
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