iPhone 6 and blue stethoscope

Australian Department of Health’s National Health Plan for Coronavirus (COVID-19) allows doctors, nurses, midwives and mental health professionals to deliver services via telehealth services as long as those services are bulk billed.

What is it?

Telehealth means using telecommunication technology, including telephone and video calling, like Skype and FaceTime, to conduct medical consultations remotely, reducing the chance of spreading infection from sick patients to doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to and subsequently to other patients.

How does it work?

Temporary Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA) item numbers have been rolled out allowing GPs and other health professionals to be more flexible with their delivery of services so patients who are at risk or unwell can stay safe. The new MBS items enable people to access essential health services in their home while they are in self-isolation or quarantine and reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for vulnerable people in the community. These Medicare item numbers will be in place for six months initially.

Who can access it?

People in isolation or quarantine for COVID-19 can see any eligible health provider with these new telehealth items. Patients who are at risk or in vulnerable groups can also see a health provider via telehealth for medical issues other than COVID-19 if they have seen that provider (or another provider within the same practice) at least once face-to-face in the last 12 months.

Telehealth services will be available to:

  • people isolating themselves at home on the advice of a medical practitioner or in accordance with home isolation guidance issued by the AHPPC
  • people who meet the testing guidelines for COVID-19
  • people over the age of 70
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 50
  • people with chronic health conditions or who are immunocompromised
  • parents with new babies and people who are pregnant

 

How to use it

Contact your GP doctor, mental health practitioner or midwife by phone, especially if you have cold or flu symptoms and explain your situation. 

More information

For more information, you can read the Primary Care – Bulk Billed MBS Telehealth Services fact sheet.

Coronavirus Health Information Line 

Call this line if you are seeking information on coronavirus (COVID-9). The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Phone: 1800 020 080

Coronavirus Information

See all of our resources and information here 

 


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