UPDATE from Physiotherapy Alberta: March 29, 2020 | Business Closure Orders and Physiotherapy
On March 27, 2020, Premier Kenney and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hinshaw announced new restrictions for businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing a list of essential workplaces that can continue to operate and directing closure of non-essential workplaces. Essential workplaces include hospitals, continuing care (long-term care, licensed supportive living, and home care), and home services for seniors, the disabled and the vulnerable.
Non-essential workplaces that have been directed to close include those that provide close contact personal services, except when providing emergency and urgent services.
“Albertans are prohibited from accessing close contact personal services, including personal services facilities, cosmetic enhancement services, wellness studios and clinics, non-emergency and non-critical health services. Non-emergency and non-critical health services provided by regulated health professionals or registered professionals include any non-emergency or non-urgent physiotherapy.”
The wording of the Public Health Order, and clarification provided by representatives from Alberta Health make the following clear:
The only in-person physiotherapy services that may be provided at this time are those categorized as urgent or emergency.
The task of defining what constitutes urgent or emergency care rests with the regulatory body.
As we previously stated, Physiotherapy Alberta does not have the authority to direct that physiotherapy clinics must close. That authority rests with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Government of Alberta. We also advised members that if the Chief Medical Officer of Health directed that clinics close, we would advise them of that change.
As of March 27th, the Chief Medical Officer of Health has directed that clinics and other settings where close contact physiotherapy services are provided must close, except for the provision of urgent or emergency care. It is no longer a recommendation it is now an order. Failure to comply with this order, by providing non-urgent or non-emergent care could result in a fine under the Public Health Act.
Physiotherapy Alberta recognizes that physiotherapists provide valued and important health services in a wide range of settings. It can be difficult for clinicians and patients to know when services constitute urgent or emergency physiotherapy. It is also essential that these decisions are consistent across the province. To that end, we are now providing direction regarding what constitutes urgent or emergency care by physiotherapists, categorized by health-care setting.
If you feel you fit the criteria below please phone the clinic. We have limited scheduled times for emergency care. We also can set up appointments for telehealth rehab through skype or face time and a physiotherapist will direct your care.