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How can I get an appointment with a physiotherapist in Austria?

Julia Hjelm Jakobsson
Julia Hjelm Jakobsson - [email protected]
How can I get an appointment with a physiotherapist in Austria?
At the physiotherapist. Photo by Toralf Thomassen on Unsplash

If you are recovering from an injury, experiencing pain, or simply aiming to improve your physical function, visiting a physiotherapist is a good idea. Here is what you need to know about physiotherapy in Austria.


Physiotherapy can be the key to improving mobility, managing pain, recovering from injuries, and optimising overall physical function. Many people will need such services at some point in their lives.

If you need a physiotherapist in Austria, you can choose between going to one who is contracted with your insurance company (Therapeut mit Kassenvertrag) or to a so-called elective therapist (Wahltherapeut). For both options, you will need a referral from a general practitioner, such as your family doctor (Hausarzt), if you want to access the service for free (with your e-card) or get a reimbursement for your treatment.

Physiotherapy through your health insurance company

If you want to go to a physiotherapist without having to pay for it, you can try to find a suitable physiotherapist who is contracted with your insurance company

Physiotherapy is free of charge if your therapist is contracted with large public insurance companies such as the Austrian Health Insurance Fund (ÖGK), Insurance Institution for Public Employees, Railways and Mines (BVAEB) or Social Insurance Institution for the Self-Employed (SVS).

These insurance companies settle directly with their contracted therapists and you do not need to pay anything out of pocket. However, accessing this kind of free treatment can sometimes be hard, as those with the most urgent needs are prioritised, which can result in long waiting times for appointments. 

Here you can find a list of physiotherapists who work privately but still have a contract with ÖGK, sorted by regions within Austria.


Physiotherapist of your choice

If you want to go to a therapist that is not contracted with your insurance company, you initially have to pay for the treatment yourself.

Once your treatment is completed and the treatment costs have been paid in full, you can apply to your health insurance company for reimbursement by submitting your confirmation of payment. Here you can find information on which other documents you may need to submit.

However, you will not be reimbursed the full amount. For example, with ÖGK, you usually receive about 80% of what contracted physiotherapists would get from ÖGK. If you are insured with SVS and BVAEB, the percentage is similar.

If you have another type of insurance, such as a private one, it is a good idea to check with them what their specific insurance covers.

Going to a physiotherapist can improve your quality of life. Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Where do I find a suitable therapist?

There are plenty of ways to find the right physiotherapist that fits your needs. Sometimes your family doctor may have a recommendation, or perhaps a friend can suggest one. If you prefer to explore on your own and consider more options, you can search for a therapist online.

Websites such as physioaustria offer useful search functions where you can find therapists based on specific criteria, such as specialisation or insurance contracts. You might also find helpful for your search.

READ MORE: Everything foreigners need to know about the Austrian healthcare system


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