Physiotherapists will soon be able to request X-rays 

Licensed physiotherapists across Nova Scotia will soon be able to request general radiographs (X-rays), saving patients time and unnecessary additional appointments.

Physiotherapists have advanced skills in assessing and treating musculoskeletal conditions.

Physiotherapists employed by Nova Scotia Health or IWK Health can already request X-rays, but starting in early spring, physiotherapists working in private practice will also be able to request X-rays. They must be in good standing with the Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapists to request an X-ray.

“Ensuring all physiotherapists can request necessary X-rays for their patients means more timely access to the care people need,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “This change will reduce unnecessary demands on family physicians, nurse practitioners, and emergency departments, and save patients and physiotherapists time.”

Nova Scotia Health and IWK Health are working with the Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapists and the Nova Scotia Physiotherapy Association to complete the necessary steps to implement this practice province wide. This includes ensuring providers are recognized in Nova Scotia Health’s and IWK Health’s registration systems.

“This announcement will optimize the scope of practice for Nova Scotia physiotherapists who work in private practice and as a result, improve timely access for patients needing general radiography,” says Monica MacDonald, president of the Nova Scotia Physiotherapy Association. “It will save patients from unnecessary additional appointments to get a requisition if an X-ray is deemed necessary. We are excited to better support our patients and help them efficiently navigate the healthcare system.”

“Nova Scotia Health and IWK Health look forward to collaborating with our physiotherapist colleagues across the province to ensure this expansion of access works well for all providers and patients,” said Dr. Tim Mailman, senior medical director, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Services Network with Nova Scotia Health.


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