To provide continued access to essential primary health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Government has expanded Medicare-subsidised telehealth services for all Australians.
Who is eligible?
The new temporary MBS telehealth items are available to all Medicare eligible Australians. The services will be available until 31 December 2021, with continuing availability of these items to be reviewed prior to 31 December 2021. To be eligible you must have a Mental Health Care Plan.
Telehealth – Is it the best therapeutic solution for me?
Whilst we applaud the government on the implementation of Telehealth services for mental health, and it is extremely valuable and convenient in times of physical illness and potential COVID outbreaks, we ask that you consider whether it is clinically appropriate for you or your child on all occasions.
Not all clients and clinicians are comfortable with Telehealth, and in some situations, it is not considered clinically appropriate to provide psychological services via telehealth. We suggest that you talk to your treating clinician about Telehealth to determine whether it is right for your/your child.
Whilst Telehealth may be convenient, it may not always be best for you/your child. Sometimes your clinician may need to see you in person to complete testing, provide feedback, discuss reports, or other valid reasons.
Some clinicians consider it is not best practice for themselves to use Telehealth and do not always feel they can give you the best therapeutic service when not seeing you in person.
What to consider for your Telehealth Appointment.
If you have discussed with your clinician and they are happy for you to attend via Telehealth, we encourage you to think about how to best prepare for those sessions, things to consider;
- Where you will be when attending your session, find a space where you have privacy and feel secure.
- Consider the lighting, background and potential distractions, set up a comfy space, free from distractions and noise.
- It can also be helpful to have a glass of water or warm drink and tissues nearby.
- Telehealth is not to be conducted whilst driving to ensure your safety