Last week, an announcement by The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care, brought some good news for health professionals and patients in Australia. Amongst the initiatives announced, the Better Access scheme has been extended for 2022 and telehealth rebates have now become permanent.
Understanding the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Better Access has doubled the number of individual Medicare subsidised psychological sessions each year – to up to 20 sessions. This subsidy has been extended and now will be available throughout 2022.
Another important initiative, telehealth will become a permanent feature of primary health care, allowing GPs, specialists, and allied health professionals to continue to consult with their regular patients by phone or online. What was introduced as a temporary feature during the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has grown in demand and allowed patients to continue with their treatments from the comfort of their own homes.
At PsychMed, we are thankful for these Government initiatives and grateful for the Medicare services that allow us to continue providing important services to our clients. Whether you have encountered further difficulties with COVID or just wish for more flexibility in the future, Medicare and PsychMed can support you with ongoing telehealth services. Contact us on (08) 8232 2424 for more information or visit your GP to organise a referral.
Australian Government Department of Health (2021). Permanent Telehealth to Strengthen Universal Medicare. Retrieved from https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/permanent-telehealth-to-strengthen-universal-medicare