Physiotherapy services delivered through the public health service are generally provided in hospitals, either on an in-patient or out-patient basis. Physiotherapists are healthcare professionals who use mainly physical treatments 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 a Health Amendment Act Card.
RulesThe Health Service Executive is not obliged to provide physiotherapy services in the community but it does in some cases. Usually, a community service is provided in health centres or clinics.
Practising physiotherapists must be registered with the Physiotherapists Registration Board at CORU, the regulator for health and social care professionals.
How to apply
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 as a private patient. However, you may be able to claim tax relief for medical expenses.
Where to apply
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 website or by contacting the Society: