A free cardiac rehab program is coming to Regina.
The YMCA and Alliance Wellness & Rehabilitation have partnered to provide the free program to the Queen City and surrounding areas.
According to Dr. Mark Lemstra, with Alliance Health, people are paying $440 for the exercise portion of the cardiac rehab program at the University of Regina.
“We believe that cost and accessibility is a major reason that 96 per cent of patients don’t start and complete cardiac rehab programs,” Lemstra said.
“The cardiac rehab program in Regina was much much, more expensive than the cardiac rehab programs in Saskatoon and other cities. It was 500 per cent more in comparison to Saskatoon.”
Lemstra said he met with the university to ask them to be a part of the initiative but they have chosen not to participate.
Family doctors must give the patient a referral before they can participate in the program.
The patient will get a free YMCA membership to use while in the program. After the patient has been discharged, they are encouraged to purchase a membership from the YMCA.
One of the focuses of the program is to provide behavioral medicine and social support. Patients will have access to on-site clinicians and have support from their family and friends.
“Our major focus is if we include behavioral medicine into our program instead of 14 per cent of patients starting the program, 90 per cent would start and instead of 33 per cent completing the program, about 90 per cent will complete the program,” Lemstra said.
Lemstra explained they are expecting at least 500 referrals per month, but that number could jump to 1000.
Referrals have already begun. The program starts on Nov. 1.