Physiotherapy services delivered through the public health service are generally provided in hospitals, either on an in-patient or out-patient basis. Physiotherapists are specialised members of the healthcare profession who use mainly physical means such as exercise, manipulation, massage and electrical methods of therapy. This therapy is used to treat pain, injury and disability as a result of conditions and illnesses that affect people of all ages and backgrounds.
A limited community physiotherapy service may also be provided by the Health Service Executive (HSE). Where available from the HSE, physiotherapy services are free of charge to medical card holders and people who have contracted Hepatitis C directly or indirectly from the use of Human Immunoglobulin-Anti-D or from the receipt within Ireland of any blood product or a blood transfusion and who have Health Amendment Act Cards.
In general, if you wish to access physiotherapy services as a public patient, you need a referral from your family doctor (GP), public health nurse or hospital. You can also refer yourself to a community physiotherapist.
You will have to pay for physiotherapy services if you attend a physiotherapist in a private capacity however, you may be able to claim tax relief for medical expenses incurred by you whether you, your spouse, your dependent child or a dependent relative attend a physiotherapist privately. If you wish to apply for tax relief in respect of physiotheraphy services, download and complete Form Med 1 here.
Staff in your local tax office can answer queries in connection with tax relief and physiotherapy services.
The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists is the professional body representing chartered physiotherapists. You can find out more information on physiotherapy, including contact information for chartered physiotherapists nationwide through their web site or by contacting the Society:
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.