Sask Government says they won’t follow Alberta on subsidizing chiropractor treatment

The Alberta Government announced
Thursday they’ll be reinstating the subsidy for seniors to receive chiropractic
care starting in July.

The move is applauded by seniors in
Wild Rose Country, but has many here in Saskatchewan
hoping our Government will take not.

President of the Saskatchewan
Chiropractor’s Association, Dr. Darryl Kashton, says aging is inevitable, and
whether it’s your shoulders, back, or hips things start to get a little

“I think when they can come into a
chiropractor, we can help them get things moving better and help them restore
that motion again,” said Kashton.

But he says the number of seniors
coming into his office dropped when the government cut the subsidy to provide
the care back in 2010. It meant a savings of $10 million during a tight budget.

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Now, even Dr. Kashton’s regular
clients that still visit aren’t coming in as often.

“A lot of seniors are on a fixed
income and when that price did go up they definitely had to choose between a
lot their other real essential living expenses and other things,” said Kashton.

The government does provide 12
chiropractic treatments per year for low-income individuals and seniors on
health benefits.

Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne
said after cutting the service in 2008, they decided the long-term negative
impacts outweighed their $7 million cost.

The NDP made the same case during
the last election when they campaigned to bring the subsidy back. They say
cutting the subsidy actually costs the health care system more in the long run
to deal with ailments in other ways like long-term care, or surgery.

“With the news that the Alberta
Government is reinstating coverage for seniors, we think that’s something the
SaskParty should look at again,” said Cam Broten, SK NDP Health Critic.

But the Government says they have no
plans to reevaluate chiropractic coverage. The program they fund right now
shows 90 percent of the clients aren’t using their allotted 12 treatments

But Dr. Kashton maintains that
decision isn’t going to do anything for the quality of life for our aging

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“A patient is going to have the best
care at home and I think chiropractors do a very good job at keeping people at
home and keeping them living independently,” said Kashton.