Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

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Ontario Chiropractic Association reports on physiotherapy scope of practice document


October 29, 2008
By Canadian Chiropractor

The Ontario Chiropractic
Association (OCA) has released its report in support of the proposed
increase in scope of practice for physiotherapy (PT) in the province,
noting that a similar review of scope of practice for chiropractic
would increase the profession’s role in health care in Ontario.


 The current definition of the physiotherapy scope of practice is:
“The practice of physiotherapy is the assessment of physical function and the treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention of physical dysfunction, injury or pain, to develop, maintain, rehabilitate, or augment function or to relieve pain.”

Physiotherapists in Ontario are proposing to amend this definition to include the following:
“The practice of physiotherapy is the assessment of neuromuscular, musculoskeletal and cardiorespiratory systems to:

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  1. diagnose, treat and prevent disorders or diseases that cause, or are associated with, physical dysfunction and/or pain;
  2. develop, maintain, rehabilitate, augment function;
  3. relieve pain; or
  4. promote mobility and health.”

The most significant of these proposals is the allowance for Ontario physiotherapists to diagnose.  This is expanded upon, in the physiotherapy scope of practice review submission to the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC), to involve the ability to order various laboratory tests – including X-rays, MRI, blood work and electroneurodiagnostic procedures – administer oxygen and other substances, aspects of wound management, and various manual application points in the pelvic area for therapeutic purposes.

The OCA has agreed that physiotherapists in Ontario should be able to perform these functions, but has pointed out that the scope of practice for chiropractors should also be reviewed with respect to various aspects of this report. 

The OCA document states: “The OCA respectfully requests that when it reports to the Minister with recommendations concerning the scope of practice for physiotherapy, HPRAC should comment on the advisability of considering an equivalent change to other relevant scopes of practice, specifically including the scope of practice of chiropractic.”

Please visit www.cndoctor.ca for links to full OCA and PT documents.