I have nine questions for this year’s RMTAO AGM. You can see my questions for the past RMTAO AGMs 2020 – 2022 here.
- In the Friday File, December 9th, 2022 edition, M. Feraday reported, “I met with MPP France Gelinas, the NDP Health and Long-Term Care Critic. Gelinas will be following up on our behalf after our upcoming meeting with Nadia Surani, Director of Primary Health Care at the Ministry of Health. I also had positive meetings with the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, Merrilee Fullerton; staff of the Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, as well as MPP Mary-Margaret McMahon and MPP Chris Glover. We are gaining support for our advocacy effort with the Ministry of Health from all these MPPs.”
Questions: What support, specifically and tangibly, are you asking from these MPPs? If the MPPs granted your ask, what would tangibly change for RMTs in practice?
- In the 2021-2022 RMTAO Strategic Plan Summary https://rmtao.com/about-rmtao/our-goals, one of the six objectives is “The profession of massage therapy participates in integrated team-oriented healthcare to achieve the best possible treatment outcomes for the patient.” The RMTAO has promoted the inclusion of RMTs on teams in healthcare settings in a variety of its messaging in most recent years. Yet we must consider serious barriers to inclusion: 1) education streams separate from gatekeeper health disciplines (MDs, RNPs, and increasingly DPharm and physiotherapists); 2) integrating health services endorsed by government/covered by provincial health insurance with services not covered 3) slow progression of research literacy and capacity in the profession; and 4) shifting our profession’s cultural thinking from sole practitioner practice to multi-discipline team settings with increased regulatory structure, among other barriers.
Questions: What do you believe RMTs and their representative must do to qualify for such an integration?
3) In the 2022 RMTAO membership survey, under “resources”, additional requests from members include: regular updates on advocacy efforts (specifically HST); more posters, videos and shareable social media resources; access to research database and assistance with research analysis; editable social media templates; information re: prepping for retirement, assistance with peer assessments, raising RMT profile in medical community and mental health resources; information re: accounting, tax filing and audits; printed materials re: evidence basis for massage therapy; webinars demonstrating hands-on techniques; access to prior webinars; an explanation of how fees listed in the Services and Fees Guideline are calculated.
Question: Will the RMTAO address these requests in future plans?
4) Follow up re: 2022 membership survey, re: Community-Based Networks (CBNs). Fifty-seven percent of RMTs completing the survey reported they were unaware of these essential hubs of collegial support.
Questions: What has the RMTAO done this year to raise the profile of CBN’s, and to train CBN leaders in meeting facilitation and promotion? How has the RMTAO used CBNs as a direct source of two-way communication and interaction with its membership? What are the RMTAO’s plans for further strengthening CBNs?
5) In 2019 the Ontario regulator halted its funding of the Massage Therapy Research Fund. Despite a stated objective by all stakeholders – the regulator, the representative and the training schools – towards research literacy and capacity, it appears there is no concerted effort to fund this objective.
Question: Is the RMTAO in discussions with the regulator to resurrect the Massage Therapy Research Fund? If not, what conversations are the stakeholders having in ensuring the proper funding of research in massage therapy?
6) What are the RMTAO’s specific plans to increase member engagement and dialogue? What are the RMTAO’s intentions to increase available data and statistics re: RMTs and their practices?
7) What is the RMTAO doing to advocate for populations who would benefit from massage therapy care, but don’t access due to financing or other barriers?
8) What does the RMTAO do for entry-level practitioners – besides hosting documents of the Resource section of the website – to properly mentor and ensure knowledge-transfer of best practices to these fledgling practitioners?
9) What variables does the RMTAO Board use in measuring influences on RMT practice – particularly government, insurers, gatekeeper health disciplines and public perception/media – and for forecasting to effectively prepare RMTs for the future?