BLUFThanks to the pandemic, many Australians have experienced the benefits of Telehealth services—a service that will now become a permanent feature of Australian healthcare.
The Federal Government has announced that Telehealth services will be made permanent in a move sure to please millions of Australians. Key points of the announcement include:
Telehealth services that have connected millions of Australians to their doctors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic are to be made a permanent feature of the country's healthcare system.
The Government will spend more than $100 million to make Telehealth services permanent.
When the pandemic first hit, Telehealth services were stood up by the Federal Government in less than a fortnight to serve as temporary support through the pandemic.
The service was established to limit in-person contact throughout the pandemic but has since proven invaluable for people with mobility issues and those living in remote or rural areas.
Since Telehealth began, there have been more than 86 million telehealth consultations, with more than 16 million Australians using the service.
Funding for telehealth services was initially due to cease in January 2022.
A Royal Australian College of General Practitioners spokesperson described the announcement of a permanent telehealth service as a 'wonderful day in the history of general practice'. The spokesperson also noted that it would help deliver sorely needed services to regional and rural Australia.
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