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Canadian complex rehab market matures

Canadian complex rehab market matures

TORONTO – It’s an active period for the seating and mobility market in Canada, with M&A deals and professionalization efforts both increasing, says VGM’s Steve Cranna. 

“National Seating & Mobility has been aggressive in Canada and what that’s really showing us is, the industry here is maturing,” said Cranna, director of business development and government relations for VGM Canada, Mobility Group. 

Most recently, NSM opened a branch in Barrie, Ontario, in July, its 25th in Canada, and the company has made numerous acquisitions in the country, including Canada Care Medical Group in September. 

The NSM effect 

NSM’s aggressiveness in Canada has served as a “wake-up call” for established providers there, Cranna says. 

“The owners are either in their 50s and 60s and wondering if it’s time to exit and sell their business, or younger and thinking they need to acquire a company and strengthen their business,” he said. “There are those significant conversations happening.” 

‘The Wild West’ 

In Canada, unlike in the United States, there are few if any requirements for providing seating and mobility. But providers are still looking for ways to distinguish themselves, leading to a groundswell of support for organizations like NRRTS, which now has 281 registrants in the country, Cranna says. 

“Canada is largely unregulated – it’s the Wild West here,” he said. “But the growth in Canada has been rapid.” 

Phase 2 

Now that NRRTS registration has some traction in Canada, the next phase is raising awareness about the importance of RESNA’s ATP certification. There are currently about 20 ATPs in Canada, says Cranna, who will join Sheila Buck, OT, to present a plenary session on standards at the Canadian Seating and Mobility Conference in October. 

“We’re really trying to nudge the industry forward on having minimum standards,” he said. “We’re looking at the industry and seeing how we can best position it for the future and give it the strength and credibility it needs.”


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