Telehealth services have been life changing for many in need of support over the past year which is why the Morrison Government is investing more than $114 million to extend the service until the end of the year.
Telehealth items were rapidly implemented in March 2020 to ensure our primary care sector could continue to function and Far North Queenslanders could continue to access important health services.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the introduction of Telehealth services had been one big positive to come from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Telehealth services have been life changing for many in need of support,” Mr Entsch said.
“This essential service has been extremely popular with many Far North Queenslanders as well as those working within our health system.
“The extension will ensure that Far North Queenslanders can continue to see their GP, allied health provider or specialist, renew scripts and seek mental health support from the safety of their own home.
“This allows vulnerable Far North Queenslanders to feel protected and supported during these unprecedented times.”
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said Telehealth has played an important role in supporting Australians through the pandemic.
“We recognise that Telehealth continues to play an important role in supporting Australians through the pandemic,” Mr Hunt said.
“Which is why as part of the 2021-22 Budget, we are extending Telehealth services to 31 December 2021.”
“It is critical that Australians continue to look after their health and stay engaged with your primary care providers.”
The Morrison Government continues to work with peak bodies to co-design permanent post pandemic Telehealth as part of broader primary care reforms to modernise Medicare and provide flexibility of access to primary and allied healthcare services.
More than 54 million COVID-19 MBS telehealth services have been delivered to 13.6 million patients between 13 March 2020 to 21 April 2021 with $2.9 billion in Medicare benefits paid.
More than 83,540 providers have used telehealth services.
The extension of Telehealth includes services for general practitioners, medical practitioners, specialists, consultant physicians, nurse practitioners, participating midwives, allied health providers and dental practitioners.