Telehealth Online Doctors are urging the Morrison government to extend Medicare-subsidised telehealth solutions as the coronavirus pandemic proceeds. The solution is because of end September 30 however the federal government
“Many consumers have their own stories about what changes worked for them and what didn’t. The report says the experience of health care during the pandemic ‘highlights the issues Australia needs to tackle for a more effective, efficient, and equitable health system’.
“In his report, Coming out of COVID-19 lockdown: the next steps for Australian health care, Dr Duckett identifies seven lessons from the health system’s response to COVID-19 which he says should be incorporated into “a new normal”
- “These include expanding hospital-in-the-home, encouraging outreach and telehealth with new primary care funding models, and building better on-the-ground coordination of health services through Primary Health Networks.
- “CHF is seeking 20-30 consumer leaders whose experience with coronavirus has given them ideas for improvement to join a series of online workshops to develop ideas for a better health and social care system. For details go to Consumer Commission.
- “The Consumer Commission will be asked to focus on ideas that ensure that the post-pandemic policies uphold equity of access to health and to social care at a time of likely economic hardship.
- “As Dr Duckett says, planning for the transition is as important as the planning during the initial wave of the pandemic. Without good planning for the transition, we risk a second wave and we risk not benefiting from the health system changes that occurred during the pandemic. ‘That would be another tragedy on top of the trauma caused by the pandemic itself.’
- “His suggestions include Introducing new general practice telehealth items to replace the pandemic ones, limited to patients with an established relationship to a practice, and in the case of people aged 70 plus, to the practice in which the patient is enrolled.
- “Other ideas for change include email consultation standards, specialist telehealth consultations with GPs, with or without the patient present.
- “The many other ideas range from public-private hospital coordination to reduce elective waiting lists, multidisciplinary teams to prepare care paths that ensure nonmedical treatments are considered and expansion of in home care, and a rethink of hospital building project.