Telehealth extended to end of 2021

The Federal Government has confirmed GPs will be able to offer Medicare-subsidised telehealth consultations until at least 31 December 2021.

The current arrangement is due to end on 30 June, but Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Government plans to include an extension in May’s Federal Budget, as it continues to work with peak bodies to ‘co-design permanent post-pandemic telehealth’.

‘Over the last 12 months, telehealth services have been life-changing for many in need of support,’ Minister Hunt said.

‘The extension will ensure that Australians can continue to see their GP, renew scripts and seek mental health support from the safety of their own home. This allows vulnerable Australians to feel protected and supported during these unprecedented times.’

From 13 March, 2020 to 31 March, 2021, more than 54 million telehealth services were accessed by 13.5 million patients.

What services can be accessed via telehealth

The extension of Telehealth includes services for general practitioners, medical practitioners, specialists, consultant physicians, nurse practitioners, participating midwives, allied health providers and dental practitioners.

The 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.

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