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Thursday, June 30, 2022

CHA welcomes telehealth permanency announcement

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Catholic Health Australia (CHA) says it welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement that telehealth will become a permanent feature of primary health care.

The peak body for Catholic hospitals and aged care says it has been advocating for telehealth to become permanent for over a year.

Health minister Greg Hunt yesterday announced $106 million over four years for permanent telehealth, which will allow GPs, specialists, and allied health professionals to continue to consult with their regular patients by phone or online.

CHA’s health policy manager, Alex Lynch, said the announcement made abundant sense.

“The mission of Catholic Health Australia members is to ensure universal access to health, especially the poor and marginalised. Telehealth is a fantastic tool that helps our members deliver on this mission,” Lynch said.

“The update of telehealth services during Covid changed the game completely and it’s terrific to see the government recognising that.

Lynch said since March 2020, there have been more than 86 million COVID-19 MBS telehealth services delivered to 16.1 million patients.

“More than 89,000 providers have used telehealth services,” he said.

“We are keen to see the Government announce a focus on rural and regional support, as these are the areas of Australia that stand to benefit the most from telehealth.

“When implemented correctly, telehealth provides outstanding value to patients and a high standard of care.

“It will be play an enormous role in the future and the Government has pulled the right rein in recognising it.

Lynch said CHA looks forward to further engaging with the health minister and other members of the Government to help ensure the implementation of this policy is calibrated to deliver the most benefit to those who most need it.

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