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Don’t delay vital physio because of ACC changes

Media Release - Embargoed: 6am Monday 16 November 2009

Don’t delay vital physio because of ACC changes

Accident victims are being urged not to let ACC cuts that take effect today, (Monday 16 November) stop them from seeking vital physiotherapy treatment.

New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists President Jon Warren says there is worrying evidence that news of the impending subsidy changes has already put people off receiving the treatment they require to lead productive and healthy lives.

As a result of ACC reducing the subsidy it pays for accident victims more physiotherapists will have to impose a part charge to cover costs.

Mr Warren said that even before the new subsidies had taken effect, publicity about the impending change has reduced the number of people seeing physiotherapists.

“Some clinics are reporting a drop in patients receiving care. We have had reports in some clinics of up to 50 per cent decreases in patients accessing physiotherapy,” Mr Warren said.

“As a result, people will put off treatment until injuries become too aggravated to ignore. This will unnecessarily increase their pain and suffering,” Mr Warren said.

“At the same time, treating injuries later often means people will require more treatment and will take much longer to get back to work,” Mr Warren said.

“The overall cost of delayed treatment to patients, to ACC and to the country is therefore likely to be higher than if people seek treatment sooner,” Mr Warren said.

ENDS

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