Today in the Metro there was a brief article about the Mayoral transition, that cited Bloomberg as warning that the next mayor needs to control pensions and health care costs for city workers, or risk pushing the Big Apple towards insolvency like Detroit.
What do you ask does this have to do with massage therapy? And why would I mention it? I worked in Canada for a number of years as part of their OHIP integrated care. Specifically, I was working for Unions and for workman’s comp claimants. The people on my table were not rich folk getting a rub down in the middle of their entitled days. They were factory workers on the line, doing things like boxing products and food management. These were true middle class, salt of the earth folks. I treated everything from tendinitis low back pain, to chronic fatigue in patients on the night shift. I saw them once a week on a regular basis, based on a prescription from their overseeing nurse or doctor, or until their condition resolved.
The amazing thing is by US standards these patients were also the same candidates for long term pain meds, and surgery, or disability, instead the government had shuffled them off for 10 treatments to see me. But why?
In Ontario the government pays for almost all the health care you need. I can’t speak for exactly what goes on behind OHIP (the health care ) doors but I imagine someone there had the bright idea to up the standards of massage, so that we could deal with the external medicine aspect of soft tissue disorders such as sprains, strains, overuse, aches and pains, while at the same time unclog the doctors offices so they could deal with the actual act of internal medicine . That same someone I imagine, hired a team of cost analysts to calculate the cost of having someone see me for early intervention, rather than sending them off for a costly surgery….that is if the surgery went well. If it did not go well the bill would be for recovery, temporarily disability, and perhaps long term disability. That’s one long list of government paid bills, rather than private insurance making bank on each transaction. And as to the pain meds? Well imagine if you over prescribe them? you might make a bundle up front on the profit, but end up in the red on the rehab. The point is, there is a social responsibility towards heath care there because of the system structure. We don’t have the same set up, but that does not mean that we cannot start taking preventive fiscal responsibility towards our care. Hit the gym, hit the mat, eat the right foods, don’t take short cuts. In the end it starts with you.