It’s now possible for all patients of Yarra Medical with a valid Medicare card to receive bulk-billed telehealth phone consults, thanks to new measures introduced by the Australian Government. It’s another step in the battle with COVID-19 and will help everyone stay at home and keep isolated.
If you are feeling feverish or short of breath, or have a cough or sore throat, we encourage you to book a phone consult with one of our GPs today. The same goes if you have been overseas in the past 14 days, or if you suspect you’ve come into contact with Coronavirus.
If your want a GP consultation for reasons that have nothing to do with COVID-19, you can still have a bulk-billed phone consult from the comfort of your own home.
Previously, it was only possible for those with or suspected to have Coronavirus to receive a bulk-billed telehealth consultation; anyone between the ages of one and 70 were excluded (or one and 50 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people).
But in an effort to help people stay as isolated as they can, yet still have access to vital healthcare, bulk-billed telehealth services have been expanded to everyone, no matter the medical issue.
If a script is required, it can be emailed, faxed or sent directly to the patient’s pharmacy.
So, what actually is telehealth?
Telehealth, sometimes referred to as telemedicine consultations, are appointments between medical practitioner and a patient over a phone or video service, such as FaceTime, WhatsApp or Zoom.
It’s basically a consultation with your GP over the phone or interacting with them through a screen. Telehealth services have been popular for some time with those living in rural or remote areas who must travel long distances for health services.
Since the Coronavirus pandemic, though, the benefits of virtual consultations have become priceless as we can access vital healthcare and still practice social distancing. Now, there’ll be less people crowding GP waiting rooms and putting themselves and others at increased risk of COVID-19.
Staying Safe during COVID-19
These certainly are strange times we’re living in. As we all do our best to keep isolated within our homes, the outside world has never seemed more appealing. But it’s vitally important we stick with it.
Up to this point in time, we (that is, Australians) are doing a pretty good job of containing the spread of Coronavirus. COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that spreads through droplets released into the atmosphere when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through their saliva. This is why we’re all being encouraged to practice good hygiene, and why Arnold Schwarzenegger released a video demonstrating proper hand-washing techniques.