Do I have to see a doctor first before seeing a physiotherapist?

Physiotherapists are primary health care professionals. So you don’t need to see your doctor first before seeing them. In fact, most Canadians see their physiotherapist with direct access to health care.   

In hospitals and in the case of acute care, a consultation with a physiotherapist may be requested by a doctor or another member of the care team taking care of you.  

Some supplemental health insurance plans may require prior consultation with a physician to consent to reimbursement for your physiotherapy services.   

Physiotherapists continue to press for direct access to physiotherapy services to be an integral part of the Canadian healthcare system. Direct access to physiotherapy eliminates unnecessary referrals, saves valuable patient time, and saves healthcare costs by reducing the additional billing associated with consulting healthcare professionals.