Continued Mandates For Chiropractic Unjust And Unjustified Says NZCA

The New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association (NZCA) is
calling on the Government to end COVID-19 mandates for
private primary healthcare practices calling the continuing
restrictions unjust and unjustified now that the Omicron
variant is at large in the community.

The peak body
for chiropractic in New Zealand says that private primary
health providers, such as chiropractors, rely on
face-to-face consultations and fee-based income to survive.
Prolonged restrictions on the delivery of healthcare are
critically affecting the viability of many businesses and
leaving thousands of New Zealanders without an option for
healthcare in their communities.

In a letter to the
Ministry of Health, NZCA President Dr Hayden Thomas,
chiropractor says: `My members and their patients have
suffered unduly from extended restrictions over the past two
years with lockdowns significantly preventing access to
care. This ongoing situation is becoming untenable. I
believe it is wrong to discriminate against private
businesses in this way, especially when those practitioners
are more than equipped to manage their clients’ safety
through infection protection and control

Dr Thomas explains: `A typical
chiropractic consultation is around 15 minutes duration, in
a well-controlled clinical setting, of which most of the
time is spent face down. Many other aspects of the setting
can be managed to minimise contact time and interaction with
staff and others. Of course, surveillance Rapid Antigen
Testing can form part of the risk management strategy. The
section of the population we see is no different from those
going to a hairdresser, where there is far less awareness of
infection screening or control, and far more time spent in
close quarters.

‘To continue to restrict these
private community health enterprises from operating and to
prevent them from caring for their communities, or from
contributing to the productivity of the economy, seems
irrational and unwarranted.’

Dr Thomas points out
that the Ministry of Health restrictions are particularly
hard on allied health businesses that depend on face-to-face
interactions and are paid out of pocket fees by the public.
They are highly trained health professionals who have
excellent knowledge and ability to screen for COVID
symptoms, practice infection control and appropriate PPE
use, and have exceptional contact tracing information built
into their patient management systems already.

Thomas says: `Chiropractors are regulated primary health
care professionals registered under the HPCA Act with close
to 700 annual practising certificate holders practising in
solo, group, and multidisciplinary clinics around New
Zealand. New Zealand chiropractors have significant training
(a minimum 5-year tertiary degree) and a broad yet highly
skilled scope of practise and clinical expertise. They

care for the public in a wide range of health
concerns, including spinal problems, posture, certain
neurological issues and chronic pain. Importantly,
particularly with the heightened levels of mental health
concerns being seen this year, chiropractors help many
people with anxiety, sleeping difficulties and stress
related disorders through their ability to assist the
nervous system.

New Zealand’s chiropractors are
taking the lead to inform, and inspire people to improve
their health and prevent pain and disability by educating
the public to have a greater understanding of the
relationship between their spine and nervous system and how
this affects their function and overall wellbeing.

a time when people are dealing with significant stress and
different health concerns, now more than ever we need to
ensure the public has access to all health care services
when they need

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