Yes, But There Are Conditions, Read On!
Physiotherapists in Australia undergo rigorous university level education training and registration that allow us to operate as first contact practitioners.
What does this mean?
Just that you don’t need a referral from a doctor to see a Physio. A Physio will be able to assess your problem or injury, and know if further treatment or investigation is required, aside from the management a Physio can provide, such as to see a doctor, specialist, or if diagnostic imaging is required.
When you consult a Physio with an injury, they will provide a full subjective (questioning you) and objective (looking at the injury and feeling your movements etc) assessment.
Most of the time, your Physiotherapist will be able to fully assess and diagnose physical injuries this way, without requiring x-ray imaging.
Most physical injuries can resolve just fine, with x-ray and other imaging being reserved for specific situations, including when considering surgery, or to exclude a fracture, or to exclude other underlying pathologies.
Your Physio Can Refer You To A Radiology Centre For An X-Ray
Your Physiotherapist can refer you directly to a radiology centre for any x-ray if recommended, as a result of the assessment.
The full Medicare rebate will only be applicable for x-rays referred by a Physiotherapist of the hips, pelvis, sacrum and coccyx, cervical thoracic and lumbar spine.
X-rays of other areas are NON-Medicare eligible.
Physiotherapists are also able to refer for NON-Medicare eligible scans including Ultrasound scans of the area, and MRI scans, of the areas of clinical interest.
You will need to contact the Radiology provider to find out the out of pocket costs of these scans.
This blog was written by Nicole Brammy from the Gawler Place Physio practice.