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Manitoba bans pediatric chiropractic payments

By FRANK LANDRY -- Legislature Reporter
Winnipeg SUN
April 27, 2002

The Doer government is ignoring the advice of Manitobans by charging ahead with a plan to boost the cost of chiropractic care and eliminate coverage for children, says the Manitoba Chiropractors Association.

Dr. Robert Palaschuk, the association's president, said 9,214 Manitobans have written Health Minister Dave Chomiak since February asking the New Democrats to maintain chiropractic funding.

It was part of a campaign organized by chiropractors, which asked patients to fill out a "public consultation paper" used at a series of forums on health care in January and distributed by the provincial government to Manitoba households.

"My sense is those people did not want chiropractic tampered with, they wanted it to expand," Palaschuk said.

But Chomiak yesterday disputed those numbers, saying his office had received about 1,000 submissions. Later, Chomiak's staff said the number was, in fact, closer to 4,000 -- but an official tally had not been completed.

"I think that number came from the Opposition critic, who in terms of numbers hasn't been that accurate," Chomiak said. "I don't think we received 10,000."


Beginning July 1, the cost of visiting a chiropractor will go up 30% and Manitoba Health will no longer cover the cost of chiropractor visits for children under 18.

Tory health critic Myrna Driedger said Premier Gary Doer and the health minister ignored the advice of thousands of patients with the decision.

"These are 10,000 voices who want this government to listen and not make changes to chiropractic care and services in Manitoba," Driedger said. "They basically turned their backs on them."