Telehealth changes improve remote Australians’ access to a doctor

3 March 2020

Australians in some of the most remote parts of the country will soon have greater access to a doctor, with the Morrison Government investing $45.5 million in GP telehealth consultations.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt said, “From 1 November 2019, GPs will be able to conduct regular telehealth consultations with their patients in remote areas, with rebates available through the Medicare Benefits Schedule.”

“This expansion of Medicare rebates for telehealth will help improve the quality and continuity of care for patients in areas classified as Modified Monash Model 6 and 7, which encompasses remote parts of Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.”

The Government will invest $45.5 million over three years from 2019-20 for this initiative, which aims to encourage patients to maintain a strong relationship with their existing GP.

To be eligible for subsidised telehealth consultations, patients are required to:

  • live in a Modified Monash Model 6 or 7 location;
  • have an existing clinical relationship with the GP providing the telehealth consultation (defined as three face-to-face consultations in the past 12 months); and
  • be at least 15 kilometers by road from the GP.