Young Adult Stroke Treatment in Ontario

Ontario Young Adult Stroke Treatment

Prepared by: Jim McEwen
ON’s Representative of Young Adult Stroke Survivors between ages 20 and 64
Nov. 9, 2021

This is an update to original research originally undertaken in August 2016 relating to denied physiotherapy to Ontario’s young adult stroke survivors on the basis of age.

Ontario Designated Physiotherapy clinics
[contacted in 2021 to determine if they provide government-funded physiotherapy for young adult stroke survivors between ages 20 and 64 under Ontario’s Community Physiotherapy Clinic Program]:

  1. Central Park Physiotherapy, 455 Simcoe Street South, Oshawa, Ph: 905 725 4241
  2. Durham Physiotherapy Wellness Centre, 575, Thornton Road, North, Oshawa, Ph: 905 725 8359
  3. Oshawa Clinic, 29 Charles Street, Oshawa, Ph: 905 725 8551
  4. Phma Grant, P.T. 1-154 King Street East, Bowmanville, Ph: 905 697 8001
  5. We-Fix-U Physiotherapy, 77 William Street Cobourg, Ph: 905 373 7045
  6. Physiotherapy Associates, 462 Paxton Street, Port Perry, Ph: 905 985 8363
  7. Clair Dufferin Physiotherapy Inc., 2202-909, Jane Street, York, Ph: 416 604 4404
  8. Main and Gerrard Physiotherapy 94 Main Street, Toronto, Ph: 416 789 5936 &
  9. York Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre 977 Eglinton Ave. West, York, Ph: 416 781 3945
  10. Life Mark Markham Physiotherapy 377 Church Street, Markham, Ph: 905 471 4259
  11. Abira Physiotherapy 4256 Bathurst Street, Suite 200, North York, Ph: 647 351 2500
  12. Windsor Physiotherapy Services 13278 Tecumseh Road East, Suite 200, Tecumseh, Ph: 519 735 2152
  13. Cornwall Physiotherapy Clinic 17373 South Branch Road Cornwall, Ph: 613 932 2447
  14. Newcastle Physiotherapy, 87 Mill Street North, Newcastle Ph: 1-905-987-4533

The clinics listed above will not provide government-funded physiotherapy services to our young adult stroke survivors between ages 20 and 64 because of a lack of billing Codes for this age group. They will only provide government-funded physiotherapy to Post-Acute Care stroke patients who are over age 65 or under age 19. Special consideration may be given for young adults if one is on Provincial Social Assistance such as ODSP or Ontario Works. Furthermore, a young adult survivor has to suffer a second stroke before qualifying for more government-funded treatment. They will provide services to young adult survivors only if they pay for such services. Such services may be partially covered by private insurance plans. Typically, patients must pay upfront and make a claim with their insurance company. Insurance policies have limits on available health services.

To make matters worse in Durham Region our Lakeridge Healthcare system has a policy of automatically denying more stroke treatment/physiotherapy if one’s stroke took place over 12 months ago.


  1. Most young adult stroke survivors in Ontario continue to be automatically denied government-funded physiotherapy on the basis of outdated provincial Regulations and healthcare policies and age.
  2. These young adults between 20 and 64 are being denied the opportunity to recover to their best potential and possibly return to work or continue their Post-Secondary Studies.
  3. Ontario’s young adult stroke survivors are prematurely cashing in Retirement Savings/Plans to purchase private and expensive stroke recovery programs. Such Plans should be for retirement and not for funding healthcare in a supposed public healthcare system. Survivors without Savings and RRSPs simply go without treatment.
  4. We need a Provincial healthcare system based on why young adult stroke survivors qualify for more treatment as opposed to a system that looks for reasons to deny treatment. Affective Legislation is needed in Ontario to fix this problem and the starting point is to rescind outdated and age-restrictive healthcare Regulations at Ontario’s Parliament (Queens Park).
  5. Lakeridge Health needs to take a serious look at its outdated Policy of automatically denying treatment if one’s stroke took place over 12 months ago with the goal of eliminating this Policy.
  6. The Ontario healthcare system typically provides good Acute or Initial stroke treatment/physiotherapy regardless of age. The gaps in treatment for most young adult survivors commence after the patient is discharged home from the hospital or rehab center. There is a significant deficiency in outpatient care for Ontario’s young adult stroke patients.
  7. We need to eliminate these age-discriminatory healthcare policies for the next generations of young adult stroke patients/survivors in Ontario as stroke rises in younger adults of Canada. We need to do better for Ontario’s young adults; they do not have $200,000.00 in Savings or RRSPs to deal with a disabling stroke.
  8. Ontario’s Designated Physiotherapy Clinics authorized to direct-bill the province will not provide government-funded services for stroke survivors between ages 20 and 64 because there are no billing codes for this age group. The hands of these Clinics are tied until the province takes action at Queens Park.
  9. The Ford Government needs to immediately expand its government-funded Community Physiotherapy Clinic Program to include stroke survivors between the ages of 20 and 64, with a doctor’s referral and after completion of initial Rehab programs.

Paper prepared by:

Jim McEwen
66-year-old stroke survivor
retired Civil Engineer
Bowmanville, ON

Ph: 905 419 8889



Listing of clinics in Ontario who are authorized to direct bill OHIP:

Some responses from Ontario clinics:

Mr. McEwen:
Unfortunately, Ontario’s Health Ministry has strict requirements, the only way they’d be covered under government-funded physio is if:

  • They are 19 or younger, 65 or older
  • On ODSP or Ontario Works Or
  • have been admitted overnight into the hospital for the same thing we’d be treating them for within the last year.




Phma Grant, PT

234 King Street East, Unit 1

Phone: 905-697-8001

Text : 289-274-6009

Fax: 1-855-420-5774

Email: Brianna@PhmaGrant.Ca


April 30, 2021

Mr. McEwen:

This is definitely a problem we see every day.

The only way we can take a patient aged 20-64 is if they have proof of overnight stay for the condition they are referred for and that they have not received a course of treatment before. As per the Health ministry, we are in the same boat as all other clinics that have a permit to provide care.


The most we can do is offer private pay sessions. Sometimes, it’s worth the initial assessment if they have not been seen or had treatment in a long time, we can get them back on the train tracks in terms of routine, and then re-evaluate to see if further sessions would be needed.

Let me know if there is anything else I can do to assist. Thanks,

Louisa Simpson |Clinical Lead
Lifemark Physiotherapy Church Street
Markham, ON



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