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Canadians’ health and economic recovery require urgent policy solutions. 

Advocacy Priorities

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Serving Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Improve access to MSK care for refugees and asylum seekers by adding chiropractic care to the list of services that are covered under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP).  

  • Refugees and asylum seekers are among the most vulnerable people in Canada. MSK conditions and chronic pain are over-represented in refugee populations and persist even after the initial phases of the resettlement process. 
     

  • Labour market barriers including non-recognition of foreign credentials, lack of language proficiency, and racial and ethnic discrimination, impede employment integration, forcing refugees to take on precarious employment positions. 
     

  • Refugees and asylum seekers have poor access to healthcare compared to the general population. In August 2018, the United Nations Human Rights Committee concluded that Canada is not providing adequate healthcare to some of its refugees, immigrants, and temporary foreign workers. 
     

Adding chiropractic care to the list of services that are covered under the IFHP will: 

  • respond to the needs of refugees and asylum seekers suffering from MSK conditions and facilitate their integration into Canada’s economy and society.  
     

  • reduce public healthcare costs and pressures on the system by ensuring that refugees and asylum seekers with MSK conditions can receive the care that they need when they need it. 
     

  • enhance Canada’s commitment to deliver a world-leading refugee resettlement program. 

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Rural Healthcare & Student Loan Forgiveness 

Ensure that chiropractors are included in the Canada Student Loan Forgiveness (CSLF) program for healthcare workers who work in under-served rural or remote communities that lack the primary health care they need. 

  • Rural Canadians have significantly less access to doctors than Canadians in urban settings.  

  • The almost 20 per cent of Canadians living in rural communities are served by only eight per cent of the physicians in Canada. 
     

  • As one of Canada’s largest and fastest growing primary contact healthcare professions, chiropractors are well positioned to support the government’s efforts to improve access to healthcare services in rural communities. 
     

Allowing newly graduated Doctors of Chiropractic to access the CSLF program will: 

  • incentivize young chiropractic professionals to practice in rural and remote communities therefore helping address health inequality in rural Canada. 
     

  • enhance the overall health standards in the public health domain by creating diversity and inter-professional collaboration among regulated healthcare professionals. 
     

  • Reduce the pressure on physicians, as well as public healthcare costs by ensuring that rural Canadians with MSK conditions can receive the care that they need when they need it. 

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Pain and the Opioid Crisis: 

Support a national strategy to address the escalating levels of chronic pain by implementing the Canadian Pain Task Force’s Action Plan for Pain in Canada and improving access to non-pharmacological pain management treatments, such as chiropractic care.  

  • There are many factors contributing to the opioid crisis and first exposure to opioids for an acute or chronic pain condition is one of them. 
     

  • Health Canada projects as many as 8.3 million Canadians may live with chronic pain by 2025 and as many as 9.0 million by 2030. Chronic pain disproportionately affects Canada’s most vulnerable populations, including people living with disabilities and Indigenous peoples. 
     

  • The total direct and indirect cost of chronic pain in 2019 was $38.2 - $40.3 billion. By 2030, the total cost is expected to reach $55 billion. 
     

The implementation of the CPTF Action Plan should be a priority for government as it will: 

  • ensure that Canadians suffering from chronic pain have improved access to a broader spectrum of evidence-informed pain treatments. 
     

  • reduce public healthcare costs and pressures on the system. 
     

  • reduce the heavy reliance on opioids in treating pain by improving the integration of non-pharmacological treatments.
     

  • allow more Canadians to be more active in Canada’s economy and partake in our economic recovery. 

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Protecting our Members of the Canadian Armed Forces  

Improve access to MSK care for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members by removing the requirement of physician referral and the cap on the number of treatment visits.

  

  • Due to the physical demands put on active military personnel, musculoskeletal conditions like back and neck pain are double that of the general Canadian population. 
     

  • Musculoskeletal injury is a major occupational risk of a military career and is responsible for 42 per cent of medical releases. 
     

  • The chiropractic benefit currently available to CAF members requires a physician referral to off-base care. This referral requirement delays access to timely care and places an additional burden on members seeking treatment for a work-related injury.
     

  • Chiropractic care is well integrated into the United States military and the data is compelling. Studies commissioned by the U.S. Department of Defense demonstrate that adding chiropractic care to standard medical care is cost effective and can lead to decreased pain and disability rates while increasing satisfaction for active-duty soldiers with low back pain. 
     

  • During this time of increased strain on limited healthcare resources, it is especially important that care pathways be simplified, and unnecessary referral steps be eliminated wherever practical. To begin addressing the need for easier, timelier, and robust access to chiropractic care for CAF members and veterans, the requirement for a physician referral to seek treatment from chiropractors should be removed.