NEWS ARTICLE

Advocacy Update - Week of March 26, 2018

2018-03-29

Local Health Integration Networks

Andrew Lewarne, Executive Director and CEO of the RMTAO, met with representatives from the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) on March 26, 2018. The representatives had a particular interest on the benefits of massage therapy for palliative care patients and potential inclusion of massage therapy in rehabilitation health care teams. LHINs, while government funded, also engage with local agencies and groups that are not government funded.

The RMTAO will pursue an opportunity of including a Registered Massage Therapist on the Health Professionals Advisory Committee (HPAC) for each LHIN in Ontario, to help advise each LHIN on overall community engagement strategies.

Andrew Lewarne will be providing further information to the members of the LHIN so that they better understand the importance and benefits of massage therapy, and the representative from the Toronto Central LHIN will also be providing further information about massage therapy to the other LHINs across Ontario.

Inclusion of massage therapy in LHINs will increase access to massage therapy in local communities, particularly for those in hospice or palliative care. The RMTAO will continue to work with the LHINs to increase access to massage therapy in local communities.

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

On March 26, 2018, Andrew Lewarne met with Ian Chesney, Senior Policy Advisor for the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

Mr. Chesney was interested to learn more about the massage therapy profession including the facts around the educational level, the breadth of treatment conditions, and the interprofessional collaboration that is undertaken on a daily basis. He was aware of the involvement of the profession in the Low Back Pain Pilot Project and will be reviewing the research results. He was also interested in the potential inclusion of massage therapy in the Rapid Access Clinics and will be reviewing any potential barriers. The issue of HST on massage therapy services was also discussed and he was interested to learn more about how this barrier to care impacts the public’s ability to access massage therapy care.

The RMTAO will continue to engage with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to seek involvement and inclusion in government-funded healthcare initiatives.

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Andrew Lewarne met with a representative from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport on Monday, March 26, 2018.

Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018, was passed this month. This concussion safety legislation is designed to protect amateur athletes and educate coaches about the dangers of head injuries, and is the first of its kind in the country.

Andrew Lewarne discussed the benefits of massage therapy for concussion management treatment and the RMTAO will be pursuing opportunities to include massage therapy in the implementation of concussion treatment protocols and recommendations.