Cross-Border Physiotherapy within Canada

On May 11, 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Canadian physiotherapy regulators that proposes a new registration category to help improve access to care within Canada.

The purpose is to support access to beneficial physiotherapy treatment where there may be physical barriers to care or a scarcity of qualified physiotherapists. This will allow physiotherapists who practise in one province, but wish to provide care to patients in another, to do so through tele-rehabilitation or in person for the purposes of continuing care or accessing physiotherapy services that are not otherwise available.

Ninety-five percent of the Canadian landmass is serviced by only 8% of registered physiotherapists. This creates vast areas where patients have difficulty accessing care due to distance, bad weather or the absence of physiotherapy services.

This new type of extended access licence (the name of the registration category may vary from province to province) is designed to allow physiotherapists to continue care initiated in the physiotherapist’s primary jurisdiction, where the patient would benefit from continued service in a second jurisdiction; or the provision of physiotherapy where services are not available in a second jurisdiction but would benefit the patient.

Ten provincial physiotherapy regulators have signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Cross-Border Physiotherapy. Implementation of this registration category is in early stages in most jurisdictions. The following provincial regulators are ready to accept applications:

Jurisdiction Name of Registration Class
Physiotherapy Alberta, College + Association Courtesy Register – Cross-Border
College of Physiotherapists of Ontario Independent Practice – Extended Access with Restrictions

For more information, watch this CAPR webpage for future updates, or contact the registration manager at the College governing the jurisdiction within which you are interested in practising.