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The views and opinions expressed within posted comments do not necessarily reflect the views or positions held by the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.

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Shenda Tanchak
Registrar and CEO
College of Physiotherapists of Ontario

  • Is It Health Care Or Is It A Business?

    Feb 04, 2015

    Does it have to be this way?

    I think that the difference between a health care profession and a business is simple: it’s in your motive. If you do this for a living to take care of patients, you are a professional. If your top priority is profit, you are a business person.

    Before you post angry comments—I don’t mean that health care professionals can’t make a profit. Of course I don’t! I am talking about your primary reason for going to work in the morning. I hope that your first goal is to help patients and the gorgeous consequence of your good work is a healthy income.

    The problem arises when patient care is secondary to the bottom line.

    When Council was brainstorming business practices that are unacceptable, they quickly came up with the following examples: sales of products or services that do the PT’s profit line more good than the patient; advertising that is misleading or false; using too many support personnel to adequately supervise; using support personnel who aren’t properly trained; telling patients they need care or devices that won’t really do them any good; offering services that are not really physiotherapy but billing patients or third party payors for physio; inadequate, false or incomplete records; false billing. The list went on from here.

    Last year Council adopted a policy of zero tolerance for inappropriate business practices. That means that if you are engaged in one of the practices listed above (or something not listed but equally offside) then you are doing a disservice to your profession and to your patients and the College will not accept it.

    When the College learns about such a situation, the appropriate College Committee will consider it (that is, you will be evaluated by your peers and appointed members of the public—not by staff, and never by me) and the outcome could be anything from a meeting with the Committee, to compulsory education or could lead to a revocation of your certificate of registration.

    We have heard from you: You deplore businesses that put profit before patients and Council agrees with you.

    Physiotherapy CAN be a profession and a business—it’s just a matter of putting first things first.

    Does it have to be this way? I think that the difference between a health care profession and a business is simple: it’s in your motive. If you do this for a living to take care of patients, you are a professional. If your top priority is profit, you are a business person. Before you […]
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  • My support person hurt someone. Am I in trouble?

    Jan 05, 2015
    Scene 1: You assessed your patient and made a plan that included having her walk with a walker. But one day, in your absence, your support person independently decides that the patient is ready to use a cane instead. This was really bad judgement. Now the patient has fallen and broken her hip. Are you […]
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  • Bad Start to a New Career

    Nov 13, 2014
    I’m not kidding you, this was a conversation that one of my colleagues overheard recently on a train. Student 1 (let’s call him Jason): I’m going to start my own business. Student 2 (let’s call him Mateo): Me too—I’m never going to work for someone else. Jason: I know, right? And here’s what I’m going […]
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  • Your Mom’s Nurse Was Just Convicted of Drug Trafficking—Do You Need to Know?

    Oct 16, 2014
    How much information about their health care providers should patients and other members of the public be able to see? Where’s the line between the public’s right to know and the professional’s right to privacy? All of the health care professions in Ontario have Public Registers on their websites. These Registers all have some information […]
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  • Joke: What Do You Call Uninformed Consent? Punchline: No Consent at All!

    Sep 11, 2014
    OK. I know, that was a lame joke. I hope you aren’t coming to this blog for humour. Let me tell you about something that happened to me a few years ago, before I was Registrar of the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario. I called a sports rehab clinic where I’d been before, to see […]
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  • What if Your Colleague Made a Mistake But You Got Punished?

    Jul 09, 2014
    A few years ago the British Parliament was considering how they could improve patient safety after a series of crushing hospital incidents. And here is what the members of parliament said, “Doctors could risk losing their licence if they fail to report fitness to practise concerns about their colleagues.”[1] Do you think about that for […]
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  • Why is the College such a lousy advocate for PTs?

    Jun 10, 2014
    Hi Everyone—the headline is a trick question. We aren’t advocates for physiotherapy or physiotherapists at all. We aren’t even allowed to be. The legislation that creates the College of Physiotherapists (and all the other health colleges in Ontario) gives us our power but also limits our power. It creates the College for the purpose of […]
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  • Clinic Regulation: Now What?

    May 20, 2014
    Two posts ago, I asked you whether you thought that the College ought to regulate clinics in addition to the physiotherapists who work in them. The overwhelming majority of comments favoured this idea. You told us that College regulation would mean higher quality care in the clinics and that it would make them safer places […]
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  • Advertising and Physiotherapy: Where Do You Draw the Line?

    Apr 07, 2014
    Some of you are familiar with the Advertising Standard. Among other things, it prohibits endorsements, testimonials, superlatives and anything that could be interpreted as promoting a demand for unnecessary services. I know some of you hate it. I have heard from you that it is not fair that you must compete with unregulated clinic owners […]
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  • Thank You For Your Feedback About Whether the College Ought to Regulate Physiotherapy Clinics

    Apr 03, 2014
    Thank you for all your input on the issue of whether the College ought to regulate clinics. We left the blog post up for longer than usual because new comments kept coming in. The College will be exploring the potential for clinic regulation over the next few years. Watch Perspectives or the website for updates […]
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