Expanded telehealth services are being made available to people in the Geelong-Otway region as more health providers sign-up to offer consultations with patients via video conference or the phone.
Over the past month, Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) has helped create or is in the process of creating over 60 new telehealth service accounts for health providers across western Victoria, including 38 in the Geelong-Otway region. This has more than doubled the number of providers offering telehealth consultations throughout western Victoria.
The boost in telehealth services follows the Commonwealth Government’s interim extension of the Medicare Benefits Schedule to allow bulk-billing of telehealth consultations for a wide range of health services. The move is part of its response to reducing community risk during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
WVPHN Acting CEO Tony Ficca said many of the new telehealth services were being set up in the City of Greater Geelong area but health providers in the Golden Plains, Colac Otway and Corangamite Shires had also approached us to help them with establishing the software required for telehealth consultations.
“Most of the providers are from general practices. However, we are also helping specialists and allied health services providers get set up with telehealth,” said Mr Ficca.
“While the majority of telehealth services are being offered via video-conferencing, over-the-phone consultations are also available for patients who don’t have access to video-conferencing tools.”
“I encourage people with chronic conditions or who are unwell not to avoid seeking necessary medical support during the current situation.”
“Make sure you contact your GP or other health providers to see if they offer telehealth consultations if you are unable or prefer not to attend in person,” Mr Ficca said.