Chiropody and podiatry services

Introduction

The term 'podiatrist' is now replacing the term 'chiropodist'. Chiropodists/podiatrists assess, diagnose and treat diseases and abnormalities of the foot and lower limb. Chiropody/podiatry can improve people’s quality of life by alleviating painful symptoms, and promoting and maintaining mobility.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) is not legally obliged to provide podiatry services but where available, services may be provided by the Local Health Office or by voluntary organisations on behalf of the HSE.

Where the service is available, it is free to medical card holders and people who have a Health Amendment Act Card.

Tax relief and chiropody services

If you do not have a medical card, you may be able to claim tax relief on podiatry services that are prescribed by a doctor. You may also be able to claim tax relief on doctor visits and prescription drugs associated with this care.

See our information on tax relief for medical expenses for further details.

Registration of chiropodists/podiatrists

Coru, the Health and Social Care Professionals Council is the organisation that will register and regulate podiatrists.

Read more about registration of social care professionals here.

There are currently 3 separate professional bodies representing podiatrists:

You can contact them for information about podiatry or to check whether your practitioner is registered as a member.

Rules

Chiropody services provided by the HSE vary but the following groups usually get priority:

  • Medical card holders who are aged 66 and over
  • People who have Health Amendment Act Cards
  • People who have illnesses such as diabetes or arthritis
  • People with disabilities

The service is usually provided at health centres or HSE clinics. In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible to get a chiropody service at home.

How to apply

Normally you are referred for podiatry services by your GP or public health nurse. You may also contact podiatrists directly.

You can claim tax relief on medical expenses on podiatry treatment if it is directed by a doctor as part of your medical care..

Where to apply

Contact your GP, public health nurse or Local Health Office for information on chiropody services in your area.

Page edited: 16 October 2018