Sask. NDP to reinstate chiropractic funding if elected
On Monday morning the Saskatchewan NDP announced that, if elected, they would reinstate provincial funding for chiropractic patients.
“Under a Saskatchewan New Democratic government, we will immediately change the situation,” said Sask NDP leader Dwain Lingenfelter at the announcement, outside of the East Quance Chiropractic Clinic, in Regina.
Lingenfelter said they would immediately reinstate the cost-sharing agreement with Saskatchewan chiropractors. Instead of paying everything like they do now, patients would pay 60 per cent and the government would cover the rest.
“The amount that we would spend here would be offset by what would be saved by people going to the emergency rooms or the clinics within the health system,” explained Lingenfelter.
Health Minister Don McMorris responds
But Health Minister Don McMorris says that reinstating subsidies for chiropractic service would be a step backward.
McMorris says the $10 million that normally previously would have go into subsidies has been better utilized and that people adjusted to the change.
“We haven’t seen emergency rooms filling up because people can’t get to a chiropractor,” said McMorris.
He points out that kind of funding is rare in Canada. Only two provinces, B.C. and Manitoba, currently have any kind of funding for chiropractic service.
Chiropractors see decline in business
Chiropractor and president of the Saskatchewan Chiropractors Association, Dr. Darryl Kashton, said he’d seen at least a 10 per cent decline in business, especially with seniors on fixed incomes.
“Where they could afford twelve visits a year before, now they can only afford six,” he said.
The previous agreement cost the government about $10 million each year.
Edited by News Talk Radio's Sabeen Ahmad and Chris Morin.