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Physiotherapist

Physiotherapy services are provided to residents of the Northwest Territories (NWT) almost exclusively in the public sector. Physiotherapists are employed by four (4) regional teams: Beaufort Delta Health and Social Authority (Inuvik), Hay River Health and Social Services Authority (Hay River), Fort Smith Health and Social Services Authority (Fort Smith), and Stanton Territorial Health Authority (Yellowknife). Each regional team is responsible for delivering services within the community they are located as well as other communities which are accessible by road or air (regional services). The provision of regional services is achieved using various methods of delivery including community travel clinics, Telehealth (tele-video conferencing), telephone, e-mail, etc. In addition to providing services within its regional role, the Stanton Territorial Health Authority team also has a territorial role to deliver advanced services. Some physiotherapy services, such as intensive acute rehabilitation for neurological clients, are delivered out of territory by Alberta Health Services in Edmonton, Alberta.

Physiotherapists in each regional team work Monday through Friday, and are responsible for providing services to a diversity of clients including those with musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory, and neurological conditions. In addition to assessment and therapeutic intervention, physiotherapists are involved in service coordination, program support and clinical supervision of physiotherapy students. There is no central equipment repository within the NWT, so physiotherapists are very involved in the assessment, prescribing, ordering, fitting and maintenance of mobility equipment required by clients.

Physiotherapists work interprofessionally and collaboratively with other members of the rehabilitation team Occupational Therapy, Speech Language Pathologist, Audiology, support workers, and other health and social services professionals nurses, dieticians, social workers, physicians to deliver services in a range of settings such as hospitals (inpatients and outpatients), long-term care facilities, homes, preschools, schools, workplaces, and community based programs.

The NWT does not have legislation in place to regulate rehabilitation professionals, so all physiotherapists are required to be licensed in a Canadian jurisdiction. .