Effective April 1, 2010 the government no longer covers chiropractic services except for certain low-income individuals. I don’t have a huge problem with this, but I do for how the government justifies their decision. There was apparently an agreement in principle reached on March 31, 2010 between the government and Chiropractors’ Association of Canada. I can only assume that both parties agreed that it was prudent to join virtually all other Canadian provinces in limiting coverage for chiropractic services. If that was in fact the case then who am I to question their mutual wisdom?
If you meet the low-income qualifications the government pays for most of your chiropractic services. If you don’t then it costs you forty bucks a pop plus a few tax dollars to pay the costs for the low-income patients. What are patients doing who may be just above the poor line who have decided forty dollars is beyond their budget? It is likely they are making more trips to their family doctor, walk-in clinics and their local pharmacy for additional painkillers and muscle relaxants. This is another cost the taxpayers will share. It will be interesting to see if this new system saves the government their projected ten million annually. If it does then, as a taxpayer, I want my share of the savings.
Finally, the government argues that these cost saving measures were necessary to keep the overall system sustainable. Would reducing the salaries of politicians assist in maintaining the sustainability of the legislature? Not likely and nor does cutting necessary health services sustain the health system. If it does then we may soon be left with no system at all.