The Australian Greens have today announced their plan to make Telehealth a permanent part of our healthcare system, investing $772 million over the forward estimates into our healthcare system.
Telehealth has been widely available since March 2020 and has enabled many people to access healthcare on the phone or by video conference. The changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule that enabled these appointments are set to end on 31st December 2021.
Greens spokesperson on Health and Mental Health Senator Jordon Steele-John said:
“Telehealth has been invaluable to our community. It has enabled people to access health services during lockdowns, it has closed the access gap for people living in regional and remote areas, and has allowed disabled people and older people to access support from home.
“So many people have told me that accessing telehealth has meant they haven't missed a whole day of work, or study, to have a 15-minute appointment with their GP.
“We must ensure that we are building a health system that meets the needs of our community into the future.
“The Australian Greens are committed to making telehealth a permanent feature of our Medicare system. I am calling on the government to give certainty to health care providers, and the community. They must commit to ongoing support for telehealth services.
“The Australian Greens want everyone who needs health care to access it. Today’s announcement to make telehealth permanent builds on our commitment to clear public hospital surgery waiting lists, and get dental health care and mental health care included in Medicare.”