In March 2020, the Australian Government announced temporary MBS telehealth items in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 13 December 2021, the Australian Government announced further funding to allow for another four years of support of telehealth services.
Telehealth has shifted from becoming a service for those who were unable to get to a GP (such as Australians living in remote locations) to the norm for many Australians. While we at SwiftDoc have offered consultations via video link for our patients since well before the COVID-19 pandemic, we welcome any funding from the government that allows Australians to access medical services when and where they need them.
We wrote an article about Telehealth back in 2020 when these measures were first put in place, but here’s a quick summary of the information provided by the Australian government, outlining the arrangements from 1 January 2022.
Sometimes it helps to make notes of the key points you’d like to discuss with your GP, just in case you forget. Have any relevant results or details of medications to hand so you can share these with your GP on the call. Ensure your device has enough battery to last for the duration of the appointment, and that you have access to the internet.
Make sure you are in a comfortable and quiet area of your home before your scheduled video call with your GP. Wear headphones if you prefer, and tell others in your household that you’d rather not to be disturbed for the duration of your call.
We like to be punctual and not waste any of your time, so be ready to receive our call at your chosen appointment time.
Because we have been in the video consultation space for a while, we’re proud to be taking the lead in terms of security of your personal information, and security on the video call itself.
The Australian Government announcement last month is a pretty sure sign that Telehealth and telehealth-style appointments are here to stay. We think this is great news and can’t wait to introduce more Australians to a new way of managing their health care.