HSA Research Examines Widespread Staffing Shortages and the Erosion of Public Rehab Care


On October 22, 2021, the Health Sciences Association released a report that provided the first comprehensive assessment of the state of public rehabilitative care in BC. The report highlights severe staffing shortages, a lack of services in many communities and long wait times for patients and clients, including children and their families.

PABC has been actively advocating for more physiotherapy training seats to address these shortages and we support initiatives that will assist in removing the barriers to treatment that many communities face.

You can review the full report here

Summary of the Key Takeaways

  • BC is not training enough rehabilitation therapists. BC falls far behind other provinces when it comes to in-province training and retention of professionals trained here.
  • Public pediatric therapy services provided by child development centres are understaffed and have long wait times.
  • With an ageing population, increasing demand for musculoskeletal care and pain management, and the acute and post-acute rehabilitation required for COVID-19 patients, public rehabilitative care is needed now more than ever.
  • BC faces widespread understaffing and professional shortages, a lack of services in many communities, and long wait times. It is placing a greater burden on emergency services, acute and long-term care because patients do not have access to preventative therapy in the first place.
  • Low compensation in the public sector means new graduates are attracted to private practice for the combination of smaller caseloads and higher compensation in a province where the cost of living is very high (as reflected in our recent Compensation Survey).