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How to Get Physiotherapy in Ontario

For residents of Ontario, physiotherapy services are offered through the publicly funded system as well as through private options. But do you know the criteria to qualify for government-funded physiotherapy as well as the costs of private physiotherapy in Ontario?

Male physiotherapist pressing patient's leg down, patient lying on mat in a physiotherapy clinic.

Publicly Funded Physiotherapy in Ontario

The Ontario government provides publicly funded physiotherapy in a variety of settings, including clinics, hospitals, in your home, and in long-term care homes. In order to be eligible for publicly funded physiotherapy, you’ll need to qualify for OHIP and satisfy at least one of the criteria listed below:

  • Age 19 or younger, or age 65 or older, with a referral from a Physician or Nurse Practitioner
  • Recently discharged from the hospital, with a referral from the hospital physician requiring physiotherapy services
  • Eligible for funding under Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program, with referral from Physician/Nurse Practitioner
  • Resident of a long-term care home and require physiotherapy, with referral from the home’s Physician/Nurse Practitioner
  • Age 65 or older and require in-home physiotherapy, with referral from your Local Health Integration Network (LHIN)

Female PT with female patient lying on mat in physiotherapy clinic, arms and legs up.

Publicly Funded Physiotherapy in OHIP-Funded Clinics

In order to receive physiotherapy from OHIP-funded clinics, you’ll need to have a valid OHIP card and meet one of the conditions mentioned above for publicly funded physiotherapy in Ontario.

If you do qualify for publicly funded care and would like to receive this care in a clinic setting, it’s best to contact your doctor or nurse practitioner first to get a referral before contacting an OHIP-funded physiotherapy clinic.

Publicly Funded Physiotherapy at Home

If you would like to receive physiotherapy at home instead of in a clinic, you can contact your Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN) to find out if you’re eligible for publicly funded home care. If you are, the LHIN will help coordinate your care plan by assigning a home care agency to your case. The home care agency will then send a physiotherapist to your home.

If you’re not sure which LHIN you belong to, use your postal code to check it here.

Publicly Funded Physiotherapy in Long-Term Care Homes

If you’re a resident in an Ontario long-term care home and think you need physiotherapy, you may qualify for publicly funded physiotherapy as part of the care provided to you in the home.

You can contact your doctor or nurse practitioner in the home, who will refer you to a physiotherapist. The physiotherapist will determine if you need physiotherapy, and if so, will devise a treatment plan for you accordingly.

PT helping senior do physiotherapy using exercise ball in home.

Private Physiotherapy in Ontario

If you don’t qualify for publicly funded physiotherapy or would like additional physiotherapy on top of the current care you receive, you can consider private physiotherapy in Ontario.

Private physiotherapy can be provided in a clinic setting or in the comfort of your own home by a home care agency. If you wish to receive therapy in either of these settings, you can directly contact the clinic or home care agency to learn more about their rates and process for providing care. It’s also worth checking out their websites since most of this information may be available online—some physiotherapy clinics and home care agencies publicize their rates as well as other information on their website.

Generally, a doctor’s referral is only needed when you’re applying to receive publicly funded physiotherapy, or would like to bill to your insurance company. Since private physiotherapy services don’t fall under these scenarios, you don’t need to provide a doctor’s referral to receive care.

Cost of Private Physiotherapy in Ontario

The cost of a physiotherapy session at a private clinic tends to vary. If it’s an initial assessment, you will likely need to pay between $85 and $120 per session. An initial assessment normally lasts approximately one hour. The follow-up treatments usually cost less, normally between $50 and $75 for a 30–45 minute session. Longer follow-up sessions may cost more depending on the clinic.

For costs of private physiotherapy at home, read our guide about home care costs in Ontario.

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