Calls to support telehealth past September
As reported by ABC News, Doctors and Healthcare professionals in rural and regional Australia are calling on the Federal Government to maintain the current telehealth scheme beyond September.
Faced with the COVID-19 crisis, the Government moved swiftly in March to introduce a temporary telemedicine scheme for six months, enabling health professionals to treat patients virtually using digital consultation platforms, or over the phone.
The scheme enabled a range of health appointments, including GP and specialist consultations, to be added to a list of Medicare-subsidised telehealth services.
GPNow joins with the AMA (Australian Medical Association) to call on the Government to make MBS Telehealth permanent. According to the AMA, Australian patients are overwhelmingly embracing telehealth as an important part of their health care management, making a very strong case for the Government to make the COVID-19 telehealth reforms a permanent feature of our health system.
“Telehealth could be used with 40 percent of patients.”
While the scheme was brought about quickly to address the public safety concerns of the pandemic, it has resulted in increased access to health services for many Australians living in rural or regional Australia. Health professionals are saying it has played an important role in ‘closing the gap’ for a group of people who couldn’t or didn’t see a doctor enough.
GPNow CEO & Founder, Robert Hicken, said, “We’ve witnessed first-hand how the possibility of virtual consultations has had an enormous benefit for both health professionals and their patients and clients in the last few months. Using secure technology to ensure continuity of care during challenging times has been a relief for many.”
“Telehealth and telecare has moved rapidly into the mainstream in Australia and we feel that going forward it has a vital role to play as part of whole-of-patient approach to health and wellbeing.”
GPNow joins with the chorus of health and wellbeing professionals to request the telehealth scheme be continued beyond September.