Telehealth involves you consulting your healthcare provider remotely when they have determined a physical examination isn’t needed, and you can’t see them in person.
Telehealth services can include:
On 1 January 2022, expanded telehealth services became an ongoing part of Medicare.
Why telehealth is important
Telehealth has been transformational to Australia’s universal healthcare program, Medicare. It has played a critical role in ensuring the continuity of care for hundreds of thousands of Australian patients. Telehealth allows you to get the health care you need, where and when you need it.
Often, Australians living in rural and remote areas need to travel long distances to see their healthcare provider. Telehealth improves their health care by improving access to timely services.
Telehealth consultations are not only convenient, they also ensure the safety of others by reducing the spread of illness. This is important in circumstances where you need to self-isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19 public health orders.
Read more about telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Using telehealth services
See the Australian Digital Health Agency for information and videos explaining how telehealth works.
A range of healthcare providers can now provide telehealth services to patients. These include:
- general practitioners (GPs)
- specialists and consultant physicians
- allied health providers
- mental health professionals
- nurse practitioners.
When using telehealth services, you can have a consultation by phone (mobile or landline phone) or a video call (mobile or computer).
You can consult a medical specialist, allied health professional, nurse, midwife or nurse practitioner via telehealth instead of face-to-face if appropriate.
GP telehealth consultations
To be eligible for GP telehealth services, patients must have had a face-to-face consultation with their GP (or another GP in the same practice) in the 12 months before the telehealth service. There are some limited exceptions.
If your doctor or medical centre doesn’t offer telehealth consultations, you can use healthdirect to find a provider.
Telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic
Telehealth is an essential part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to adjust our COVID-19 telehealth measures as needed.
Ongoing MBS-funded telehealth services
Ongoing MBS telehealth services are available nationally. If you have a Medicare card, you may be eligible for telehealth services.