GPRA welcomes extension to temporary COVID-19 telehealth MBS items


GPRA welcomes extension to temporary COVID-19 telehealth MBS items

General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA) welcomes the Federal Government’s decision to extend the temporary telehealth arrangements under Medicare, which were due to end on 30 September 2020, for a further six months.

“The continued Federal Government support of telehealth, through the extension of the temporary MBS items, ensures continuity of care for patients by supporting GPs to deliver essential healthcare services via telehealth,” GPRA President Dr Sama Balasubramanian says.

“Importantly for GP training, this extension also provides certainty for many GP trainees who rely on telehealth to provide patient care and to progress through the GP training program during the pandemic, as well as to support their own financial security.”

“During this pandemic, telehealth has proven essential to GP training; results from the GPRA surveys of GP trainees showed a high uptake of telehealth, with 97 per cent of respondents now performing telehealth consultations.”

“With the number of applicants to the GP training program already in decline, Australia is heading for an acute doctor shortage; the Federal Government must continue to support the next generation of GPs to progress through their GP training—extensions to telehealth MBS items must remain in place for as long as this pandemic continues. The ongoing role of telehealth in future primary healthcare also needs careful consideration.”


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