Dr Jacob Cherian and medical receptionist Tia Hall from Ipswich Medical Centre talk about Telehealth.
Dr Jacob Cherian and medical receptionist Tia Hall from Ipswich Medical Centre talk about Telehealth.

How to bring health care home over the phone

THE EXPANSION of telehealth services means patients and doctors in Ipswich can continue with consultations without a health risk, as the community deals with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Federal Government announced earlier this week it would expand Medicare-subsidised telehealth services for all Australians and provide extra incentives to general practitioners and other health practitioners.

Bulk billing incentives for GPs both for face-to-face and telehealth services have been doubled during the course of the COVID-19 response.

Dr Jacob Cherian from the Ipswich Medical Centre said the initiative was welcomed given the current climate.

“The patient now does not have to visit the doctor. The patient can make a phone call, the doctor can talk to the patient, do an initial screening and advise them what is best,” he said.

“That is, do they need to come? They can avoid coming if it’s something that can be managed over the phone.

“Every condition cannot be treated that way and I’m not discounting the need for one-to-one contact, but in the present circumstance it is an excellent tool so that we can carry on the consultation and the patient can get the appropriate advice.”

Services will include GP services and some consultation services provided by other medical specialists, nurse practitioners, mental health treatment, chronic disease management and more.

Further changes are expected to be made during the week.

Advice and information can be found at the State Government website.