Chiropractors remain underutilized by province’s health care system

The CEO of the Provincial Chiropractic Association responded today to media attention surrounding the need for physicians to choose more wisely when it comes to the type of care a patient receives. Dr. Darrell Wade DC suggested that not enough is being done to make real changes to the way that health services are delivered in NL. “The health care model that we currently use has so much room for improvement, and there are proven ways to improve health care but it can’t happen unless we are ready to let go of perceptions that keep us doing what we have always done.” Wade was speaking in reference to programs like the Inter-professional Spine Assessment and Education Clinics (ISAEC) in Ontario which use Chiropractors and Advance Practice Physiotherapists to assess patients before they are referred to specialists such as orthopaedic surgeons. “ What they found” said Wade “ was that when patients were seen by one of these expertly trained professionals first, over 90% of cases were diverted from specialists and surgeons’ offices and the use of tests such as MRI’s was reduced by over 30%. That is what is required here yet there is resistance to move towards this type of model. We need to really ask what is holding us back and be prepared to answer honestly if anything is going to change for the better”

The ISAEC program which started in 2012 is funded by the government of Ontario and Wade suggested that the NL government should be looking at similar models if there is a real desire to make meaningful change. Wade went on to say “This is just one program that could have a drastic impact on reducing wait times and health care costs and improving outcomes. There are many more like this one that are used successfully in other parts of the country yet in NL we continue to do what we have always done. The problem with this is that you can’t do what you have always done and expect a different outcome….it just doesn’t work like that. Chiropractors are experts in assessing and treating back pain but the system is stuck in a model that places real barriers to the best provider of care being accessible to patients. Unfortunately until this changes we will continue to reap what we sow.”

More information on the Inter-professional Spine Assessment and education Clinics can be found at


About the Newfoundland and Labrador Chiropractic Association
The Newfoundland and Labrador Chiropractic Association (NLCA) is the organization responsible for representing Newfoundland and Labrador’s 68 licensed doctors of chiropractic. The NLCA advocates on behalf of members and their patients to advance the quality and accessibility of chiropractic care in Newfoundland and Labrador, and to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the healthcare system. For more information on the NLCA or for a referral to a doctor of chiropractic, please visit

For further information, contact the NLCA office at or (709) 739-7762