In March 2020, fifty six ‘temporary’ Medicare Benefits Schedule Telehealth item numbers were introduced for Australian general practitioners (GPs) in response to COVID-19.
In April 2020, 36% of all general practice consultations were performed via Telehealth (96% by telephone, 4% by videoconference), suggesting a rapid uptake of these services in the primary care setting.
Early in the pandemic, Australia implemented a comprehensive and responsive set of policy measures to support Telehealth measures. Initially targeted at protecting vulnerable individuals, including health professionals, this rapidly expanded to a “whole population” approach as the pandemic evolved. This policy response was aimed at protecting patients and healthcare providers; creating opportunities for controlled triage, remote assessment, and treatment of mild COVID-19 cases; redeploying quarantined or isolated health care workers; and maintaining routine and non-COVID healthcare.
On 13 December 2021, it was announced that Telehealth would become a permanent feature of Australian general practice.
This dramatic shift towards virtual care has resulted in rapid and unprecedented system transformation. Some changes were supported by the relaxation of regulatory and healthcare funding rules, overcoming historical barriers to telehealth implementation.
Today, there are more online Telehealth providers than ever in the market, offering a vast range of services to patients, all of which you can utilise from the comfort of your couch. The telehealth offerings in the Australian market, include: transactional instant medical certificates and scripts, the option to have medications delivered to your door after completing online medical history forms, and of course, the good old consultation with a general practitioner.
There are several providers offering online GP Telehealth consultations in Australia, and if you are interested in using one of these services, deciding which one to go with will come down to personal preference, and what it is exactly that you are hoping to gain from your consultation.
At Private Medical, we put the individual person at the very centre of what we do. Privacy and confidentiality are the foundation stones of our service, on which we build trusted relationships through effective communication with our doctors, patients and staff. Our consultations are provided by experienced and qualified general practitioners, where the doctor patient relationship is paramount.
We offer 15-minute consultations as standard, with the option for longer 30-minute consultations for complex conditions. All consultations are conducted via video, to better help treat your health conditions, build a trusting relationship with our doctors and to help maximise your health through preventive health strategies.
If you would like to learn more about Private Medical, or book an appointment with one of our doctors, head to our website at www.privatemedical.net, or phone our friendly team on our national phone line between 8am – 8pm AEST, 7 days per week, on 135 001.