Physiotherapists are primary access practitioners under the Regulated Health Professions Act and do not require a physician referral to treat. However, some insurers still require a physician's referral before they will cover the service.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident (MVA), your physiotherapy treatment is covered by your auto insurance plan.
Under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, injured workers have the right to choose the practitioner from which they receive care and the right to consult a physiotherapist without a referral from a physician or any other healthcare practitioner. For some conditions, injured workers are treated under one of seven WSIB Programs of Care (POCs). To deliver treatment under a Program of Care, practitioners must be registered with the Workers’ Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).
Publicly funded physiotherapy, provided by Community Physiotherapy Clinics (CPCs) require a physician's or nurse practitioner's referral for each episode of care, and the patient must:
- Be 19 years old or younger, or;
- Be 65 years old or older, or;
- Receive benefits under the Ontario Disability Support Program or Ontario Works, or;
- Have been overnight in a hospital for a condition that now requires physiotherapy treatment.