03 September 2020

Today Labor continues our call for the Government to urgently extend telehealth consultations beyond September, backing the recommendation of a Senate Select Committee interim report released this week.

Health Minister Greg Hunt must act immediately to prevent the hit on Australians health that is the end of Medicare telehealth rebates on September 30.

The Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology this week has recommended in its interim report:

The committee recommends that Medicare telehealth items introduced during the pandemic be made a permanent feature of the Australian healthcare system, with ongoing refinement and review as appropriate.

Labor called for the introduction of Medicare telehealth rebates early in this health emergency.

Medical and other health services delivered by telehealth have allowed Australians to access care from home while reducing COVID-19 risks for patients and health care workers alike.

This recommendation has been endorsed by the Australian Medical Association today who have advocated for telehealth to be a permanent component of the Australian health system.

Labor supports these calls by the Australian Medical Association, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and other experts for telehealth services introduced for the pandemic to be extended.

Like them, Labor knows that the pandemic wont end this month, and that telehealth should play a crucial role beyond 1 October.