he Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has welcomed the Federal Government’s extension to Medicare subsidies for telehealth consultations and urged the Government to closely consult with GPs on a long-term telehealth plan.

Earlier this year, the Federal Government heeded the RACGP’s calls to expand Medicare-subsidised telehealth (video and telephone consultations) to all Australians.

The Government today announced that the Medicare subsidies will be extended to 31 March 2021. They were due to expire on 30 September this year. Other health initiatives announced include backing for 148 GP-led respiratory clinics.

Acting RACGP President Associate Professor Ayman Shenouda welcomed the announcement.

“We are thankful that the Government has listened to the RACGP and extended these Medicare telehealth subsidies, which allow patients to consult with their GP remotely whilst minimising the risk of transmitting or spreading the COVID-19 virus,” Associate Professor Shenouda said.

“Patients and their GPs have embraced telehealth and more than 99% of GP clinics are offering these services. Telehealth has reduced potential spread of COVID-19 in the community, keeping patients and general practice staff safe.

Article published by Mirage News on the 18th September 2020. To read the full article click here.