Telehealth to become permanent
Telehealth is set to become a permanent feature of Australia’s primary health care. Introduced as a temporary measure in response to COVID-19 to help reduce the risk of community transmission, it has transformed health care delivery, particularly for people experiencing eating disorders and health providers working in the sector.
Since early March 2020, more than 86.3 million COVID-19 MBS telehealth services have been delivered to 16.1 million patients, with $4.4 billion in Medicare benefits paid. More than 89,000 providers have used telehealth services.
The Government announced $308.6 million in funding, including:
· $106 million for a permanent telehealth for Australian patients
· $58.8 million to support Australian’s mental health with Better Access to vital services
· $41.2 million to deliver better health services in regional and rural Australia
· $77 million to improve access to Medicare
· $25.6 million to support our COVID-19 efforts through Primary Care
This includes the additional MBS subsidised mental health support available through the COVID-19 pandemic to psychiatrists, psychologists and GPs, which will be extended to December 2022. This doubled the number of individual Medicare subsidised psychological sessions each year under the Better Access scheme – up to 20 sessions.
Click here for the December 13 media release from The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care.