The Network has teamed up with a group of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) specialists from UofT to advocate for the role of specialized rehabilitation.

Ontario Health Teams are taking on responsibility for all care except specialized procedures and the care required for specialized conditions. The Ministry of Health has confirmed that these will continue to be delivered by existing specialized providers and funded accordingly. The Ministry has also asked the Ontario Hospital Association to provide recommendations on what hospital services should be classed as “specialized,” how they can be organized regionally/ provincially and what funding models could be used.

For certain rehab populations, specialized rehabilitative care delivered by an inter-professional team with specific expertise is necessary to ensure good patient outcomes and effective, efficient care. To demonstrate that point, the Network conducted an evidence review to identify the key “must-haves” for a specialized rehab program for nine populations: amputee, brain injury, burns, cardiac, complex trauma, oncology, respiratory, spinal cord injury and stroke. Evidence-based admission and discharge criteria were also defined.

The Network and PM&R group are currently seeking inter-professional input across the nine populations and will use the evidence and feedback to develop a position paper on the value of specialized rehab. The paper will be submitted to the Ontario Hospital Association Specialized Services Working Group in the fall.

For more information, please contact Charissa Levy, Executive Director.