Bulk-billed telehealth consultations are set to become the new norm, with the government promising access to health practitioners from as early as next week.
With social distancing remaining a crucial aspect of combatting the Coronavirus (COVID-19) spread, telehealth will become a go-to in the healthcare sector, with Medicare covering phone and video mental health, allied health, as well as primary health consultations.
"We are moving to whole-of-population telehealth so every Australian will have access to that,’’ Health Minister, Greg Hunt announced.
The move is a welcome one within the medical community, with doctors having long called for more telehealth items to be added to the Medicare Benefits Schedule. It will help reduce the risk of contraction between health workers and the general public, increase efficiency and reduce demand on valuable PPE.
Australian Medical Association (AMA) President, Tony Bartone said expanded access to telehealth is vital for limiting the spread.
Previously only available to patients and doctors vulnerable to COVID-19, telehealth services will be expanded to all Australians in Stage Four of the service roll-out.
For more information, visit:
Minister for Health media release: Expansion of Telehealth Services
Department of Health: Bulk Billed MBS Telehealth Services