Rural telehealth is on the line
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is urging the Federal Government to reinstate rebates for longer telephone consultations as the current 6-12 minutes, leaves rural residents without access to vital health professionals.
The most recent Medicare Benefits Schedule removes rebates for long telephone consultations but leaves them available for video consultations of the same length.
Over 40% of Australians living in rural and remote locations have internet speeds that are too slow for video calls according to a report by the technology company, Philips.
Professor Price says privileging video calls over telephone calls is not backed by any data, nor is it supported by medical professionals.