It’s being offered to residents free of charge as a way to encourage them to sign up and complete the full program.
Similar rehab programs in Regina cost up to $440 a month. Reports from the government of Saskatchewan show less than 30 percent of patients participate in the current cardiac rehab programs being offered.
Alliance developed the new program as an alternative for those who might not be able to afford the care they need.
“Low income people are 58 percent less likely to start the program due to cost, and they were 38 percent less likely to complete the program due to cost. So cost is an important factor to starting and completing these programs,” said Dr. Mark Lemstra, with Alliance Health Medical Clinic.
To enter the program people must be referred by their doctor or specialist. Patients will start with diagnostics by a cardiologist and then move to exercise therapy five times a week at the YMCA.
The program includes a visit with a pharmacist for a medication review, as well as group education from a pharmacist, nurse, dietitian and psychologist.
“We offer the behavioural medicine component and the social support component where we include their family, friends and a buddy. That alone means that most patients, if not almost all patients, will start the program and complete the program,” said Lemstra.
Patients will be discharged from the program within two to four weeks after blood work, cardiovascular diagnostics and a fitness test are completed.
Lemstra says the clinic’s goal is for 90 percent of patients to start and complete the program.
Referrals are now being accepted. Patients will start being seen on November 1.