GPH Welcomes Telehealth Extension

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September 22, 2020

2002 GPH Shellcove 5

Grand Pacific Health has welcomed news of the extension to Medicare Subsidised Telehealth Services by The Federal Government.

The MBS telehealth billing item numbers for GP’s, Psychologists and other Allied Health services were due to expire on September 30 this year.

GPH CEO Ron de Jongh says expanding the Medicare rebate to cover video and telephone sessions has been crucial during the pandemic, particularly in the context of headspace centres - where staff and contractors are providing psychological support to young people during what’s been an extremely difficult year.

 The Federal Government announced on Friday that it’s investing more than $2 billion to extend a range of COVID-19 health measures for a further six months, including for telehealth services to 31 March 2021.

 “This is great news for the people we support,” said Mr de Jongh.

 “We are not on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic yet and there may be times that people need to self-isolate, or they may be too nervous to attend an appointment in person and still need services.”

 “Our Clinical staff have reported some additional benefits to telehealth so our hope would be that this could even continue in some form into the future,” added Mr de Jongh.

 In a letter to the Health Minister in July regarding the importance of subsidised telehealth services, Mr de Jongh stated that: ‘Clinical staff have reported that they are able to provide support to clients in real time in their own home. Families who are experiencing conflict have been able to dial in from separate locations or rooms in their home. Others have engaged with the service who otherwise may not have engaged due to anxiety and other concerns. In other words, the barriers young people may face to attending a headspace centre in person are not always just geographical.’

 More information on the Federal Governments announcement can be found here

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