Big Win for Canadian Physios! #advocacyworks

We’re thrilled to share the news of this big advocacy win from our colleagues and friends at the CPA!

OTTAWA, ON – Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, presented Budget 2024: Fairness for every generation wherein they announced that the Canada Student Financial Assistance (CSFA) program has been extended to include physiotherapists working in underserved rural and remote communities.

The news follows the Canadian Physiotherapy Association’s (CPA) recently submitted Pre-Budget recommendations and years of advocacy.

“We are delighted by the news of the CFSA expansion to physiotherapists and know that physiotherapy professionals are ready to embrace this opportunity,” said CPA President Allison Stene. “This is a monumental step toward ensuring Canadians have access to equitable, accessible, and timely physiotherapy care, no matter where they decide to reside, including underserved and remote communities.”  

The CFSA expansion is predicted to unleash a threefold benefit; attracting more Canadians to the physiotherapy profession by reducing the financial barriers to education, increasing health service access and delivery in communities that have the barrier of long travel times to access care, and enhancing the recruitment of underrepresented students from rural communities where retention is a persistent challenge.

“We are grateful for our partners in government for recognizing the value of physiotherapy by extending to them the same financial assistance forgiveness as doctors and nurses,” said Krissy Bell, CPA CEO. “We will continue to build upon this momentum as we head into National Physiotherapy Month in May, advocating for policy change to enable our full scope across the country, to make sure all Canadians have access to the care they need.”

WHAT OUR PARTNERS IN HEALTH SAY:

“The Canadian Nurses Association applauds the expansion of the CSFA to include physiotherapists, as it supports our commitment to team-based care, where diverse healthcare professionals collaborate to provide comprehensive and holistic patient-centered services. This will be particularly impactful in remote and rural communities.”  

—  Sylvain Brousseau, President, Canadian Nurses Association

“In these critical times, as we continue to navigate the challenges posed by surgical backlogs, the Canadian Orthopaedic Association firmly supports the inclusion of physiotherapy students in the Canada Student Financial Assistance Program. This move is a significant step forward in enhancing patient care and recovery. By enabling these future healthcare professionals to serve without the burden of student loans, especially in our rural and remote communities, we will now expedite the healing process and strengthen the healthcare system at its core. This expansion supports the betterment of our healthcare landscape across Canada.”  

—  Dr. Pierre Guy, President, Canadian Orthopaedic Association