What You Need to Know About Telehealth in Australia

The Australian Federal Government has expanded access to telehealth services. The changes took effect at 8am on Monday 30 March 2020 and is expected to stay in place until 30 September 2020.

The $1.1 billion package will assist health professionals and patients in order to ease the health and economic challenges from the COVID-19 crisis.

Costing $669 million, most of the funding will be used to expand Medicare-subsidised telehealth services to everyone and provide extra incentives to GPs and other health practitioners who are our first responders. Telehealth will be available for both mental health and  chronic disease management.

Other key points announced by Prime Minister, Scott Morrison include:

  • a boost of $150 million to domestic violence services
  • increased funding of $74 million for mental health support
  • a $200 million package to support charities and community organisations who provide food and emergency relief.

Stay up to date

To provide continued access to essential primary health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Government is expanding Medicare-subsidised telehealth services for all Australians and providing extra incentives to general practitioners and other health practitioners. 

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These critical changes have been designed in partnership with key stakeholders in the sector including the Australian Medical Association, Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Rural Doctors Association of Australia, Allied Health Professionals Australia, Australian Psychological Society, and the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association. 

Telehealth is considered to be a key weapon in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic; and the expansion of consultation services available by telehealth is the next critical stage in the Government’s response to COVID-19.  

Services will include GP services and some consultation services provided by other medical specialists, nurse practitioners, mental health treatment, chronic disease management, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health assessments, services to people with eating disorders, pregnancy support counselling, services to patients in aged care facilities, children with autism, and after-hours consultations.  

Tego, your medical indemnity insurance provider

As medical indemnity insurance providers in Australia, we want you to know the latest about telehealth and its importance during this COVID-19 crisis. With so many of us at home, coping the best we can, our health practitioners too must be able to assist their patients whilst maintaining their own safety At Tego, we are here to keep our medical practitioners protected and informed. We provide:

  • GP medical indemnity insurance
  • Doctors indemnity insurance 
  • Medical malpractice insurance 
  • Medical indemnity insurance 
  • Medical practice insurance 
  • New to private practice insurance
  • and more

Why is telehealth so important

With Australia’s primary health workers being our frontline leaders against the COVID-19 fight,  telehealth services reduce unnecessary exposure to the virus for both healthcare professionals and their patients. Wherever treatments can be safely delivered by phone or videoconferencing, there is no better way.  

 Telehealth takes the  pressure off hospitals and emergency departments. It allows access of essential health services in homes and supports quarantine and self-isolation policies to lessen the risks of the spread and exposure to the virus. It also assists at risk doctors to deliver services to their patients. 

 With the Government doubling the bulk billing incentive for Medical Practitioners both for face-to-face and telehealth services during the pandemic, it is facilitating real support for providers, and ensuring services continue to be provided with timely, appropriate and most importantly free access.   

Allow Tego to help

Tego offers medical indemnity insurance,  doctors indemnity insurance, gp medical indemnity insurance, medical practice insurance, medical malpractice insurance and more.

We have a profound understanding of the Australian medical profession and the ever-changing healthcare industry. It’s this expertise that allows us to provide leading cover with more choice, innovation and greater flexibility. Contact us to find out more.

This publication is general in nature and is not comprehensive or constitute legal or medical advice. You should seek legal, medical or other professional advice before relying on any content, and practice proper clinical decision making with regard to individual circumstances. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Tego Insurance Pty Ltd is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss su­ffered in connection with the use of this information.