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Orthotic Manufacturing Regulations in Canada (Vancouver)

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by westcoaster, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. westcoaster

    westcoaster Welcome New Poster

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    Hi everyone, this is my first post! I am currently a student working for an orthotic company that employs mostly pedorthists. I am thinking about going into Chiropody.

    Anyways, I have been searching high and low for the regulations/legal requirements, for manufacturing and modifying foot orthotics in Canada.

    I live in Vancouver, B.C. and have come across one company (with 3 stores) that are selling custom orthotics, but it appears the man making them only has a pedorthic designation from the United States.

    In another case, there was an asian chain of stores selling custom orthotics (pretty sure they had a grinder in the back as well), but the people fitting, dispensing, and modifying them didn't appear to have any qualifications.

    Are there any regulations or requirements that are in place of who can make orthotics in Canada, seems like it's pretty unregulated. Any thoughts, input, or links are appreciated.

  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Its pretty much like that all over the world.
  3. westcoaster

    westcoaster Welcome New Poster

    wow....I forgot to add that these places were also saying that if you get a prescription from the family doc, and they make the orthotic, that it can be covered by extended health insurance.

    why are the extended health insurance places accepting claims from these places? I find it unfair that untrained/licensed "professionals" are making them whereas I am putting in the hours and effort to learn how to make and modify an orthotic.

    An orthotic is a medical device, are there no laws stating who can do this?

    Thanks for your help I am already learning on my first day here!
  4. Fraoch

    Fraoch Active Member

    Hey Tony,

    If you are thinking of going into Chiropody I would highly recommend it.

    In Ontario two associtaions that work on Chiropodists/Podiatrists behalf are trying to get insurance companies to wake up and understand the differences in training and the differences in orthotics.

    Across Canada there are differences for regulations in almost every Province. Oh it's so confusing.

    Check out if PFOLA can give you any further enlightenment ( I forget what PFOLA stands for, something something Orthoic Laboratories Association).
  5. Graham

    Graham RIP

    Prescription Foot Orthotics Laboratories Association
  6. Fraoch

    Fraoch Active Member

    Thanks Graham, I just couldn't find that advertising slip for the next PFOLA conference that was on my desk only yesterday...maybe I recycled it already.
  7. westcoaster

    westcoaster Welcome New Poster

    Thanks for the tip, I have yet to come up with what those differences are for regulation in each province, I will contact PFOLA......thanks!

    And yes, it is VERY confusing.....I have literally searched high and low on the internet for an answer.


  8. Tony Conrad

    Tony Conrad Welcome New Poster

    I would recomend contacting the Pedorthic Association of Canada , they should be able to direct you in this situation, I agree we all seem to have different situations Provincially and This is where the insurance companies need to step up , PAC meets with them on a regular basis.
    Hopefully this will help direct you to a better understanding but technically there is nothing in stone YET.
    Cheers from the East Coast
  9. westcoaster

    westcoaster Welcome New Poster

    The PFOLA email address does not work, email keeps bouncing back....I will have to find the time to call them one day.

    I have emailed the PAC and will see what they say.
  10. Arjen

    Arjen Active Member

    Canada is actually better than most countries on regulatory requirements. In my experience the insurance industry is the defacto regulator as they set policy for reimbursement. Somewhat secondarily you have Health Canada with their NIHB (Non-insured Health Benefit) guidelines.
    I see the PAC has been mentioned above (Pedorthics Association of Canada). Their website is:

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