If you are thinking about getting out-patient physiotherapy in Ontario, there are 3 things you need to know:
- You don’t need a Doctor’s referral to see a physiotherapist. In Ontario, registered physiotherapists are primary access practitioners and you don’t need to get a Doctor’s referral to see a physiotherapist. If you are experiencing aches and pains and would like to receive physiotherapy services right away, you can speed up the process by going straight to a physiotherapist instead. There are, however, two instances where you would need a Doctor’s referral: (1) your extended health care provider specifically requires a Doctor’s referral in order to reimburse you, or (2), you are seeking government-funded physiotherapy services (see below for eligibility).
- Government-funded out-patient physiotherapy is available to selected individuals only. In Ontario, the government will pay for your out-patient physiotherapy services if you: (1) are 19 or younger, (2) are 65 or older, (3) have been discharged as an inpatient of a hospital after an overnight stay and require physiotherapy for the condition, or (4) receive income from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program. If you are eligible, a doctor’s referral is required and you will need to go to a designated clinic offering government-funded physiotherapy services. Cohesion Physiotherapy is a private clinic and we do not offer government-funded physiotherapy services, please visit Get Physiotherapy for more information.
- Physiotherapists are regulated health professionals. In Ontario, only an individual registered with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario may refer to themselves as a physiotherapist or physical therapist, these are individuals who have passed both the written (qualifying) and the practical (Physiotherapy National Exam) components of the Physiotherapy Competency Examination. Physiotherapists holding Provisional Practice certificates of Registration are Physiotherapy-residents, these are individuals who have passed the written (qualifying) component and have not yet passed the practical (Physiotherapy National Exam) component of the Physiotherapy Competency Examination.
Richard Kung, Registered Physiotherapist
Doctor of Physiotherapy, Bachelor of Science (Kinesiology)