In a victory for children and health freedom of choice, the government of
Manitoba Canada has reversed itself with regards to payment for chiropractic
care for children. A report in the July 15, 2002 issue of the International
Chiropractors Association's (ICA) "Chiropractic News Service", started by
saying, "In a highly significant and uncharacteristic move, the Provincial
Government of Manitoba has reversed an earlier decision that denied payment
for chiropractic services to anyone under the age of nineteen. The reversal
of the controversial policy signals an important victory for chiropractic in
that the completely unsupportable and prejudicial restriction of
reimbursement for younger patients has been rescinded."
The Information Services Division of the Manitoba government released the
following notice on July 12th: "MANITOBA GOVERNMENT SIGNS LONG-TERM
AGREEMENT WITH CHIROPRACTORS; COMMISSION CREATED. The Manitoba government
today announced it has reached an agreement with the Manitoba Chiropractors'
Association that provides coverage to all Manitobans while achieving
significant savings. Retroactive to July 1, 2002, Manitoba Health will
specifically provide coverage for Manitobans under 19 years of age..."
In an attempt to save money the government of Manitoba had stopped all
payments for chiropractic care for anyone under the age of 19. This was
done without any studies that showed that this move would save any money at
all. Chiropractors in that area argued that the discontinuation of
chiropractic benefits increased overall health care costs by forcing those
not covered for chiropractic to seek more expensive medical care, when
chiropractic could more affordably do the job.
"The battle for full inclusion and full compensation in Manitoba is far
from over and the need to be proactive and determined will continue," said
Dr. Daniel Schaeffer, the ICA representative for Manitoba. Doctors of
chiropractic and Manitoba chiropractic patients in the tens of thousands
mounted a powerfully resonating campaign to restore the chiropractic cuts
since the announcement of the new policy some months ago. "Our grass-roots
campaign has had a major impact on the government and should stand as a very
important lesson to other jurisdictions that such policies can and will be
reversed if opposed with dignity and resolve," Dr. Schaeffer concluded.