This election season we are working in tandem with our friends at Pain BC and the Arthritis Society help change the conversation around pain. We believe that chiropractors have a critical role to play in this conversation and we want to ensure that the candidates are aware of this fact.

Elections are a great time to ask the candidates for their support if they are elected. This election season BC chiropractors and the BCCA are reaching out to MLAs and candidates to ask them to support better integration of chiropractic care into pain management models. If you have benefited from chiropractic care we ask that you join us.

We’re urging you to support this call to action by asking your local candidates the following questions:

  1. People living with chronic pain (much of which is musculoskeletal in origin) need appropriate access to pain management strategies. Many recent recommendations state that conservative options, such as chiropractic, can help many patients better manage their pain. What would you do to increase the availability of multidisciplinary chronic pain management services that include chiropractic?
  2. Almost 1/3 of visits to family physicians are for spine, muscle, and nervous system (MSK) issues. Chiropractors are specifically trained to diagnose, treat and work with patients to prevent/help these issues from coming back. How would you support a collaborative care approach that includes chiropractors to treat these conditions to help open up access to GPs for other medical issues?
  3. If elected would you be in favour of giving chiropractors access to imaging labs and results so that patients like me do not have to schedule multiple visits with GPs just to get referred for x-rays and to get the results or have to pay out of pocket for imaging?

If you or someone you know has benefited from chiropractic care for spine and muscle pain and/or chronic pain let your local candidates know the difference seeing a chiropractor has made for you. We want you to add your story, questions, concerns, and suggestions to the conversation. Sending a strong, unified message will help ensure that chiropractors are included as part of the pain management puzzle, allowing others to benefit from their care.

How Can I Add My Voice?

There are many ways in which you can be a part of the conversation. The BCCA has put together some resources to make it easy for you to get involved. Below you will find resources to help you get started:

Send an Email or Letter

You can share your story and ask questions by email or regular mail (or both). We have drafted a sample letter, which you can download here and personalize with your own unique story. If you would prefer we have also drafted a letter that you can simply copy, paste and send. It can be downloaded here.

Use social media

Most candidates are using social media. If you’re an avid social media user you may want to Tweet at your candidates or post a public Facebook message. Be sure to use the #bcelections hashtag. Here are some sample twitter and Facebook posts to get you started.

Twitter:

  • Chiropractors are experts in spine/joint pain. 1/3 GP of visits for this. Integrated care frees GP time 4 other health issues. #bcelections
  • Chiropractors are experts in spine & joint pain. Should be a part of provincial pain strategy. #bcelections
  • My chiropractor has helped me get my life back. Chiropractors need to be integrated part of pain management strategies. #bcelections
  • Chiropractors are trained in imaging but have no access to refer/results. Time and money wasted having to get referral from GP. #bcelections
  • 1 million ppl in BC see a chiropractor. Chiros help people get back to life. Need to be included in pain management strategies. #bcelections
  • ONgoing GP shortage in BC. Chiropractors treat back & joint pain. Can relieve GP burden for those issues. #bcelections

Facebook:

On the candidate’s page

  1. I’d like to see more information on this page about what <thinks about integrating chiropractic care into pain management solutions. I live with chronic pain and seeing a chiropractor has significantly improved my ability to manage my pain. We need provincial pain strategies that incorporate chiropractors into the equation to ensure that more people like me can benefit. #bcelections
  2. Did you know that almost 1/3 of all visits to family physicians are for issues related to spine and joint pain? Chiropractic care has helped relieve my pain, restore mobility, and get me back to leading a normal life. I would like to know how <will support a collaborative care approach that includes chiropractors to treat spine and joint conditions freeing up more of my GP’s time for other medical issues? #bcelections
  3. I constantly hear about the GP shortage here in BC. Chiropractors are experts in back and joint pain issues and are happy and ready to manage these patients. Why not relieve the burden of 1/3 of GP visits by creating collaborative teams involving chiropractors? I'd like to know what <> will do to support such an approach? #bcelections

On your own page (make sure to set the post to "public"):

  1. This BC election, I’m asking the candidates in my riding to support initiatives that would include chiropractors in provincial pain strategies. Chiropractors are specifically trained in spine and joint pain and help people get back to leading active lives. Up to 1/3 of GP time could be freed if GPs and chiropractors collaborated on caring for these patients. #bcelections
  2. BC politicians: please support giving chiropractors access to imaging referral and results. They are trained in imaging but currently have no access. This means if a patient, like me, needs an x-ray to be diagnosed, I have to see my GP 2x. This seems like a waste of public funds and my GP's time. #bcelections
  3. Conservative treatment options need to be part of the pain management conversation. Chiropractors are experts in spine & joint pain and need to be included in an integrated care strategy to help those living with pain. #bcelections

In person or on the phone

During election season there are plenty of opportunities to connect with candidates. Often the candidates or their volunteers will call or knock on your door. You can also call their offices. Additionally, there are often public meetings, debates, open houses and more. Keep your eye on the media, Elections BC website and candidate websites to find out when and where these events are happening. These are great opportunities to ask about their opinions, share your story and raise awareness about the impact of pain and how chiropractic can help.

Spread the word and get others to join in

Conditions of the spine, muscles and nervous system are the reason for almost 1/3 of GP visits. With so many people suffering it is time for the government to take a closer look at pain/chronic pain and create better pain strategies that involve all sorts of care options including chiropractors. Encourage friends, family, and your community to reach out and raise these important issues before the election on May 9.

Contact Details for Candidates, Your MLA, Parties, and More (as compiled by our friends at Pain BC)

Questions to BC’s Political Party Leaders

Questions from BC's Chiropractors and the approximately 1 million British Columbians who utilize chiropractic services each year:

The British Columbia Chiropractic Association is calling on your party to demonstrate leadership in improving access to multidisciplinary care including chiropractic services for British Columbians living with pain related to muscle, spine, and nervous system conditions. We will be circulating your answers throughout chiropractic practices in BC and will post them to our website at www.bcchiro.com/2017Election. 

  1. Did you know? Muscle, spine, and nervous system conditions take up approximately 1/3 of GP time? We frequently hear the call for more Doctors here in BC. We're already here and we're ready to work. Do you support a collaborative care team approach that includes chiropractors to treat these conditions, opening up access to busy GP offices and allowing them to focus on other medical issues?
  2. Did you know that chiropractors are experts in muscle, spine, and nervous system conditions and undergo extensive training in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these conditions? Did you also know that there are chiropractors in virtually every rural and remote community in BC, whose services are currently being underutilized? How will you/your party help patients to better utilize these already available resources?
  3. What are you going to do to ensure that every British Columbian has access to chiropractic care when needed (for example: for chronic pain, inability to work due to musculoskeletal (muscle, spine, nervous system) conditions, inability to be active in daily life?)
  4. Recent recommendations from the American College of Physicians (ACA), and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), encourage use of conservative therapy such as chiropractic as a first option for managing pain, before prescribing pain medications. What is your/your party's long-term plan for pain management and prevention in light of the current opioid crisis?
  5. Chiropractors are fully trained in imaging tests like x-ray and lab tests, but cannot currently refer patients directly for these tests and do not have access to the results. This means a patient must schedule at least 2 GP visits (requisition and results) putting an additional strain on already overloaded GPs. Would yo be in favour of giving chiropractors access to imaging lab and results?
  6. If you are elected will you commit to being a chiropractic champion by promoting more patient-centred collaborative care that includes chiropractors as a go-to health provider for muscle, spine, and nervous system conditions?

Responses from the Leaders

These will be posted as they are received.