I have a lot of questions, but
don’t know where to get
I have a lot of questions, but
don’t know where to get them answered.
Telehealth is the name used to describe telephone or video appointments. It means that you can speak with your regular GP from the comfort of your own home (or other location). Depending on what your local practice is offering, you’ll be able to talk to your GP over a regular phone, or by using a video call service such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype or Coviu.
Everyone. All Medicare cardholders can access telephone or video appointments from their local GP as well as other specialists.
For a telephone appointment all you need is access to a telephone. For a video appointment, you will need a smart phone or other mobile device/tablet, or a computer/laptop with internet. Ask your local practice if you’re not sure what you need for your telephone or video appointment.
Check with your usual practice for information about how to book a telephone or video appointment. Different practices may offer slightly different services. You may be able to book an appointment by phone or online. Make sure you discuss and agree any fees or charges prior to your appointment.
You will be able to speak to your GP as normal over the phone or video call. When you book a telephone or video appointment with your local GP, they will advise you on how to dial in to the call, or whether they will call you themselves.
Your GP will be able to provide you with basic medical advice, prescriptions, medical certificates and specialist referrals. Occasionally your GP may request to see you in person. They will advise you on how to stay safe when visiting the practice.
Yes, your GP can mail or email a prescription to you or your pharmacist. They will let you know how to obtain your prescription and whether there are any restrictions for your particular medication.
All patients with a Medicare card are now eligible to be bulk billed for telephone and video appointments, however this remains at the discretion of the practice. Where a practice chooses to privately bill, the practice will set their own fees. This should be discussed when booking your appointment.
All practices are required by law to bulk bill telephone and video appointments for patients who are vulnerable to COVID-19, Commonwealth concession card holders and children under 16 years old.
Vulnerable patients include people who:
- are required to self-isolate or self-quarantine in accordance with government COVID-19 guidance
- are at least 70 years old
- identify as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent (at least 50 years old)
- are pregnant
- are the parent of a child aged under 12 months
- are being treated for a chronic health condition
- are immune compromised
- meet the current national criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection
Your local practice will have information about the telephone and video services they are providing and how to go about booking them. Check online or call your practice to find out.
Telephone and video appointments can help to minimise the risk of exposure and reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, most practices will continue to provide face-to-face consultations for patients with conditions that require a physical consultation. Talk to your usual practice about the most appropriate type of appointment for your individual circumstances.
The new telephone and video services have been made available until 30 September 2020 as part of the government’s ongoing response to COVID-19. Further updates will be provided as the situation evolves.
Telephone and video appointments are fully reimbursed by the government for children under the age of 16. Ask your local practice about the best way for your child to consult with their regular GP.
Yes. You should continue to consult your GP as often as you normally would, for any type of health concern. Call your usual practice to discuss whether you require a telephone, video or face-to-face appointment.
You should continue to consult your GP as often as you normally would. You can do this via telephone, video or in-person appointments. Check with your regular GP for the most appropriate way.
Call your usual GP. They will explain what you need to do, and any precautions you may need to take before visiting the practice. You can also contact the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 to discuss your symptoms or use the healthdirect symptom checker.