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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Podiatrists

Tākuta waewae

Podiatrists are healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat conditions of the feet and legs. They also help rehabilitate people after injuries or surgery that affect their feet and legs.

Podiatrists mostly work out of private podiatry clinics or within larger health clinics. For example, your podiatrist may be located within a physiotherapy clinic or your general medical practice.

If you qualify for publicly funded care (see below) you may see a podiatrist in a community or outpatient clinic.

What podiatrists do

Podiatrists treatments are wide ranging, from a simple removal of a painful callus from your foot to minor surgery for an ingrown toenail.

You can see a podiatrist with any foot, leg or related problem, including ACC injuries.

For example:

For movement problems or sports-related issues, your podiatrist may provide some exercises, footwear advice or supply you with a pair of foot orthotics to change the way your feet and legs move.

Finding a podiatrist

You can find a podiatrist by searching your area on the Podiatry New Zealand website or on Healthpoint.

Qualifications and training of podiatrists

Podiatrists in New Zealand are educated to degree level (Bachelor of Health Science in Podiatry), but many podiatrists also hold post-graduate qualifications in related areas. They must also be registered with the Podiatrists Board of New Zealand and hold a current annual practising certificate.

Cost to see a podiatrist

In some circumstances you may qualify for publicly funded care from a podiatrist (you will not have to pay). These include:

ACC

ACC might pay part of the cost of your podiatry care if it results from an injury. It may consider funding part of the cost of your orthotics if you've been injured. Your podiatrist can discuss this with you. It may also pay part of the cost if you have an ingrown toenail that needs surgery, and which is the result of an injury. But you need to make sure that your podiatrist is registered with ACC (not all podiatrists are).

Private health insurance

If you have health insurance, it may cover care from a podiatrist. Check with your insurer to find out whether you're covered and whether you need a referral from your general practice team.

Written by Canterbury podiatrists. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed April 2023.

Sources

Page reference: 185972

Review key: HICCA-28239