Telehealth also called as Telemedicine, focuses on delivering healthcare virtually using an online doctor. It uses digital communication technology such as a video call, an audio call, or messaging to connect patient to a GP (General Practitioners) for any healthcare services. In an ever-evolving landscape of Australian healthcare, telehealth is a game-changer, especially put into focus during the pandemic years of COVID-19, when the virtual consultations are mainstream due to the restrictions imposed on movement and to mitigate the risk of spreading the disease. 

Telehealth leverages technology to bridge the gap between patients and healthcare professionals, providing a range of medical services. This delivers healthcare services remotely and its primary goal is to enhance access to medical care, particularly for individuals who may face geographical issues, mobility issues, stigma from the community, or time-constraint issues. 

What is a Telehealth Doctor Appointment?

A telehealth doctor’s appointment takes place over digital communication channels/ platforms instead of in-person at a physical healthcare facility. During an appointment, the patient and the doctor will connect with the help of the technology, to discuss medical concerns, receive advice, and address any health-related issues of the patient. 

What is its main purpose?

The main purpose for virtual health is to leverage technology such as video calls, audio calls, messaging, chat to enhance access to healthcare services, facilitate remote communication between patients and healthcare professionals, and improve overall healthcare delivery. It is particularly valuable for: 

What types of care can you get via Telehealth?

Telehealth is proven to be versatile offering a range of medical care services ranging from GP consult to medicine delivery. It is important to note that it also has its limitations. Certain situations and conditions such as emergencies, physical examinations, procedures etc cannot be conducted remotely and would require an in-person visit. Here are some of the ways these appointments can change the healthcare for the better: 

Can I speak to a GP via Telehealth?

Yes, you can now speak to a General Practitioner (GP) using digital technology. A GP can advise you on various medical queries such as medication management, routine check-ups, post-op non-surgical follow-up, addressing parental concerns for cold, cough, flu etc.

Can doctors prescribe medicine via telehealth?

Yes, doctors can prescribe medicine through this means. It is important to note that the prescription of any medication is at the discretion of the consulting doctor and is not guaranteed. There are also some limitations to which medicines can be prescribed. 

Can I Get an Electronic Script or an E-script?

Yes, it is possible to get an e-script, a repeat script instantly either after a consult or via a short assessment.  

Can I Get a Medical Certificate?

A Medical certificate can be issued online by a doctor for school, work, university, or as a carer medical certificate. Once the online doctor analyses the issue in the questionnaire filled or via a consult, they will be able to provide a medical certificate. Medical certificates can be issued for the same-day or multiple days depending on the underlying medical condition.  

Can I get a referral online?

Yes, you can get various referrals online such as: 

Can I get a Mental Health Consultation with telehealth?

Yes, absolutely! It is a commonly used platform for mental health consultations. It provides a convenient and accessible way for individuals to connect to mental health care professionals from the comfort of your space.  

Can I get medicine delivered via Telehealth?

Yes, medicine can be delivered using online delivery services by certain platforms which provide these virtual healthcare services. 

What are the various health conditions I can get treated for online?

Most virtual health consultation companies work as intermediary services and do not deal with emergencies.  

  • Health conditions that do not require in-person visits, chronic conditions that can be managed through medication such as diabetes, hypertension, regular coughs, colds, flu, fevers, sore throat, headaches, certain skin conditions, mental health conditions, respiratory system conditions such as hay fever, asthma could be treated online.  
  • Parental concerns on food allergies, vomiting, etc, some of the sexual health conditions, contraception could also be treated through Telehealth.  

The health conditions treated by the online health providers are up to their discretion and one should contact them to understand what they treat. 

Is Telehealth safe?

Healthcare is guarded with the utmost protocols in Australia to ensure only quality services are provided to all citizens. All online GP consults, referrals, prescriptions, and online medical certificates are provided by Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) accredited medical practitioners.  

Patient data is valuable information and telehealth companies work with advanced technology to ensure the data stays safe using enterprise grade encryption protocols and following the National digital strategy given out by the Australian government.  

It is important to see the information given out by Telehealth companies on their safety, doctors, and patient information to understand the credibility of the company. 

How does a Telehealth doctor’s appointment work?

The online doctor’s appointment process depends on the platform being utilised for it. Platforms and companies providing these services usually keep it simple. You can get an appointment, either a script, advice, online medical certificate, or a referral with few clicks and details. Here is how the Telehealth doctor’s appointment work: 

  1. Choose your consultation length: Once after entering the GP consult webpage, you will be prompted to choose either a short consultation (up to 8 mins consultation) or a long consultation (up to 15 mins consultation). 
  2. Enter your details: Upon choosing the type of consultation you want, agreeing to the terms and conditions, you will now be required to give your personal details. Your mobile number would be verified, and you will be moved to a payment page. 
  3. Make the payment: In the payment page, you can add in your Medicare details as well as payment details. Payments can be made via credit-card using our secure payment gateway. 
  4. Doctor Consultation: Once the doctor is ready, consult over a call using the SMS link received on your mobile from the convenience of your home, school, or workplace, get advice over your health concerns. You will receive any scripts instantly from the consult via SMS, and any referrals or certificates via email. 

Is Telehealth Bulk Billed?

With reduced number of bulk billing clinics overall in Australia, Telehealth provides a mix of payment options. It is also to be noted that any virtual consult performed by a medical practitioner who is not the patients’ regular doctor cannot receive a Medicare rebate.  

Is Telehealth Bulk BIs it covered by Medicare?

Some online healthcare services are covered by Medicare depending on the platform used. For more information, it is better to visit the site of the platform.

How to Book a Telehealth Appointment?

Telehealth appointments can be booked through online platforms that provide these services such as Hola Health with the click of a button. Hola Health provides various services such as a GP consult, same day medical certificate, multi-day medical certificate, online prescriptions, mental health treatment, clinical psychologist appointments, referrals to a specialist, referrals for pathology and radiology tests, and medicine delivery in Australia. Hola Health has Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency accredited doctors available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  

As telehealth continues to evolve, it is transforming the healthcare landscape in Australia by making it more accessible even to people in rural and remote areas. It ensures access to healthcare is now more convenient, and patient centric. Embracing technology, putting patient needs ahead, and incorporating the convenience of modern-day lifestyle, this service opens new possibilities for improved healthcare delivery and ensure on-demand healthcare is available for all regardless of their location, situation, and condition. 

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This content is created for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. For emergencies please immediately contact 000.