Albertans will no longer be able to claim chiropractic care starting this summer, after the government delisted chiropractor services from its provincial health plan.
Chiropractic Cut from Coverage
CANADA: Albertans will no longer be able to claim chiropractic care starting this summer, after the government delisted chiropractor services from its provincial health plan.
The cut, which will save approximately $53 million, will mean patients will be out up to $200 each year.
"We want to ensure that we look after the most vulnerable in society and at the same time we have the cost pressures of what we can afford and what we can’t afford, and so some tough decisions have to be made," Health Minister Ron Liepert says.
He says he had to find $42 million to boost home-care for seniors, and the cuts to chiropractic care and for sex changes was the solution. "This is not about whether the service is a required service or a desired service. This is about making tough choices in the budget. We can’t cover everything."
Chiropractors knew the cut was being discussed, but have no plans to lobby the government to change its decision.
"We’re a little disappointed, obviously," says Dr. Clark Mills, president of the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors. "We’re confident Albertans value chiropractic and its benefits."
Mills says delisting chiropractic service seems to be the trend in Canada, with both British Columbia and Ontario making similar decisions in the past. Those provinces saw an initial drop in patients turning to chiropractors, but that turned around quickly. Quebec and the Atlantic provinces offer no coverage.
Mills says, he suspects seniors and people with low incomes might cancel appointments. He imagines they might return for care once third-party insurance companies offer more coverage.
Canada’s New Democratic Party Leader Brian Mason said the chiropractic cut may end up costing government more in the long run.
The Edmonton Journal
Yahoo! and the British Chiropractic Association Collaborate to Avoid Repetitive Surf Injury (RSI)
LONDON: Figures released by Yahoo! reveal that our obsession with the information on internet is growing, with 8 million people in the UK accessing the internet on the move. As more people are using the world-wide web, there is increasing concern that consumers may be risking their posture and putting themselves at risk of RSI injuries. The frequency of use, and the way in which people are accessing the web via different devices when at home, at work and on the move means that the pressure on our bodies is significant.
Repetitive Strain Injuries already affect half a million workers in the UK with an estimated 5.4 million days lost to sickness from RSI, figures which are likely to grow.
Yahoo! knows that more and more people are surfing the internet so it has linked up with the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) to help users avoid Repetitive Surf Injury.
Tim Hutchful from British Chiropractic Association comments, "Sitting down puts almost twice as much pressure on the spine than standing up, so we are more at risk from posture pains when seated. As chiropractors, we are finding that, when on the move, people are balancing laptops on their legs so users stare down at the screen which, in turn, puts strain on their necks, shoulders and backs. Holding your head and neck in this unsupported position can place increased load on the joints of the neck and reduce blood flow to the surrounding muscles causing inflammation, stiffness and pain." www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk
Fight the Loss of Medi-Cal Benefits
CALIFORNIA: The recent passage of the state budget resulted in the loss of Medi-Cal "optional benefits" effective July 1, a $129.4 million spending cut designed to reduce California’s budget deficit.
"Optional benefits" include adult dental benefits, optometry, opticians and optical labs, audiology, podiatry, speech therapy, psychology services, chiropractic care and acupuncture.
Dr. David Benevento, DC, president of the California Chiropractic Association, warned that the elimination of optional benefits will not save any money in the state budget. "Back pain is the second leading cause for physician visits. Without chiropractic coverage, patients will be forced to utilize costly hospital emergency rooms and pharmaceutical intervention," stated Dr. Benevento."Doctors of chiropractic understand the fiscal predicament that faces California. We understand the need for shared sacrifice and shared responsibility in putting our state back on the road to prosperity. However, eliminating Medi-Cal optional benefits will only serve to drive state costs up, cost more jobs, and put more people in jeopardy of losing critical health services."
Patients will seek treatment for relief of infection and pain in hospital emergency rooms, which do not have the capacity to provide dental or chiropractic care.
Please join us in contacting the governor and local legislators, urging them to restore Medi-Cal optional benefits. Contact Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and first lady Maria Shriver at 1-916-445-2841; state Sens. Joe Simitian at 425-0401, and Abel Maldonado at 657-6315; Assembly members Bill Monning at 425-1503, and Anna Caballero at 759-8676.www.topix.com/med/chiropractic/ California Chiropractic Association
Pass on the information to inform other D.C.’s about events that are really happening to chiropractors. When you see an article in your local, regional, or national newspaper about chiropractic or a fellow chiropractor, fax, e-mail or mail it to us at TAC. For further information, fax 1-305-716-9212 or see page 4 for our mailing address.