Health Workforce Innovations in Response to the COVID Pandemic
Canadian Physiotherapy Professionals Ready to Deploy to Support Health Care System
There is a need for increased health workforce capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many
physiotherapy professionals who normally work in communities are presently underemployed and would be
willing to serve Canadians in a variety of capacities where needed.
The physiotherapy profession has been working side by side with doctors, nurses, and other health
professionals for over 100 years. We can support the Canadian health system by redeploying our skilled
assets to support the needs of the system during this crisis.
As regulated health professionals, physiotherapy professionals can work in many roles to alleviate stress on
the Canadian health system including long term care facilities and we have the knowledge and know-how to
work with other health professionals in acute care settings in a variety of capacities to help with the country’s
Physiotherapy professionals are regulated, trained, and able to respond in many areas including:
• Respiratory Physiotherapy Care - urgent (e.g. ICU) respiratory physiotherapy has been shown to increase
efficiency on a ventilator and in some cases promote faster recovery.
• Post-traumatic Injuries: traffic collisions, falls, and fractures will continue to occur and many patients will
require hospitalization and physical rehabilitation in order to return home and free up that hospital bed.
• Neurological Conditions: strokes, brain injury, spinal cord injury, and progressive neurological conditions will
persist and rehabilitation will be required to enable these patients to leave hospitals.
Assess Readiness for Discharge: physiotherapists can assess patients for readiness to return home by
evaluating a patient’s ability to safely function in the home environment (e.g., ability to perform transfers,
manage stairs, activities of daily living, etc). This can help free up hospital beds.
• In the immediate instance, and to support all governments in their efforts to contain, control, and treat
COVID-19, physiotherapy professionals are poised and ready to help however we can. We can work in general
settings for COVID-19 testing, data collection, and follow up – an area where many provinces are struggling
Cross-sector staff deployments
Alternative deployments for health workers whose normal duties are temporarily suspended