The Australian Government has extended Medicare-subsidised telehealth until 31 March 2021.
Telehealth items were introduced in March this year to help patients access health services by video conference or telephone. Originally the cut-off date was 30 September 2020.
Telehealth aims to reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 and provide protection for patients and health care providers.
The Government has also extended GP-led respiratory clinics and home medicines delivery for eligible people until 31 March 2021. The respiratory clinics, which complement hospital fever clinics, offer bulk-billed COVID-19 testing.
Mental health services delivered by trained specialists and GPs are included in the telehealth extension.
Findings from a recent Healthy North Coast community survey suggest many people living in our region will be pleased to learn that telehealth services will remain available.
Out of 288 respondents, almost eighty per cent said they had been “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their recent telehealth experiences.
Healthy North Coast telehealth survey results:
- 288 community members aged from 25 to 75+
- 62.2% ‘very satisfied’ and 17% ‘satisfied’ with their telehealth experience
- 62.8% ‘very likely’ to use telehealth again after the pandemic
- 14.6% prefer video consultations rather than telephone.