Critical reflections on the physiotherapy profession in Canada

Gibson, BE
Nixon, SA
Nicholls, DA
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Guest Editorial
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University of Toronto Press

No abstract.

A rethinking of scope of practice, patient access, accountability and payment is coming to bear on healthcare systems around the world . . . We must be ready to meet these changes and effect a positive outcome for our patients and our profession. —Michel Landry, President, Canadian Physiotherapy Association (2007–2009)1 Physiotherapists are faced with a number of unprecedented opportunities and challenges that require new ways of thinking about and practising physiotherapy. Significant among these is legislation recently tabled in Ontario that will enable physiotherapists to order tests such as x-rays and to diagnose patient conditions that are within the profession’s scope of practice. This expansion of scope follows closely on the heels of progressive changes to physiotherapy (PT) in Canada and other countries, including the move to entry-level master’s and doctoral training programmes, increasing privatization of PT services, licensure of alternative practitioners, and health workforce reform. Because of the current global economic crisis, federal budgets are being tightened; in Canada, this has implications for transfer payments to provinces and for alterations to the funding of PT services. Collectively, these changes signal profound shifts that are underway for PT as our profession continues to evolve in response to social, political, and economic influences. In order to respond, we argue, it is crucial for PT to engage in rigorous critical reflection on the theoretical basis of physiotherapy practice. As we outline below, critical reflection will assist us in further developing the foundations of PT, opening up new opportunities for growth and change in PT practice, research, and education.
Physiotherapy Canada, vol.62(2), pp.98 - 100
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