What is TeleHealth?
Telehealth is a convenient way to have a consultation with a GP, nurse or allied health professional without travelling to a clinic.
You can access healthcare from a location that suits you best such as your home. During a TeleHealth appointment, you can do most things (eg obtain advice, results, prescriptions, or referrals) you would if you attended in-person.
TeleHealth can use telephone or video conferencing (also called video consultations). Most TeleHealth consultations are by phone, hence there will be no video (only audio). In some instances where you and the clinic have the facility available and video consultation is necessary, the consultation will take place via video.
Why would I use TeleHealth?
Every patient’s situation is different, but in general the benefits of telehealth include:
- Healthcare access without infection exposure for you, your family and your healthcare professional
- Improve healthcare access for people who live in rural and remote communities
- Reduce travel time and costs
- Reduce absence from work
Can anyone use TeleHealth?
Many people will be able to choose TeleHealth for some or all their non-urgent healthcare consultations.
Not all situations are suitable for TeleHealth and not all practitioners offer this service. If you are unsure, your doctor or healthcare provider is the best person to advise.
TeleHealth is good for:
- Chronic disease management especially when the condition is fairly stable – for example conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
- Repeat prescriptions for medicines used for long-term illnesses or contraception.
- Exploring mental health issues.
- Discussing diet, exercise and general health maintenance.
- Writing referral letters.
TeleHealth is not suitable for:
- Conditions where your doctor may need to listen o your heart, or lungs or feel your abdomen.
- Procedures such as excising skin lesions, taking smears, inserting long acting contraceptive devices or giving injections.
After your TeleHealth consultation, your doctor may recommend an in-person consultation for assess or manage your health issue.
How private is a TeleHealth consultation?
The same privacy and confidentiality requirements that apply to face-to-face consultations apply to TeleHealth consultations.
Can I attend my TeleHealth consultation with a family member or friend?
Yes. For privacy reasons, you need to consent to having anyone else in the consultation. Please let us know who else is joining the consultations and of your consent for this.
Can TeleHealth consultations be recorded?
No. We do not record TeleHealth consultations and we do not give patients permission to make their own recordings for privacy reasons. If you wish to record the consultation, please ask us first and we can advise. Bear in mind that it is illegal to share these recordings without the permission of everyone on the recording.
How do I book a TeleHealth consultation?
You can book a TeleHealth appointment at any of our medical centres using our online booking system, or by phoning the clinic direct.
TeleHealth consultations will be bulk-billed (eg no fee) for Commonwealth concession card holders, children under 16 years of age, and patients who are vulnerable to COVID-19. Vulnerable means a patient at risk of COVID-19, so a person who:
- is required to self-isolate or self-quarantine in accordance with guidance issued by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee in relation to COVID-19; or
- is at least 70 years old; or
- if the person identifies as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent—is at least 50 years old; or
- is pregnant; or
- is the parent of a child aged under 12 months; or
- is being treated for a chronic health condition; or
- is immune compromised; or
- meets the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection.
Eligible patients will be bulk-billed for TeleHealth consultations. For other patients, gap payments may apply.