College continues telehealth advocacy
27 Jun 2022
The College remains committed to our advocacy surrounding telehealth, to ensure that the new Government delivers an accessible, affordable, and equitable telehealth system.
College representatives including the President Vinay Lakra, have met with the Department of Health (DoH) twice in the last week to discuss the upcoming expiry of COVID-19 telehealth items and the proposed reinstatement of MBS item 288.
Temporary COVID-19 telehealth items
The College successfully advocated for temporary MBS COVID-19 telehealth item numbers to be extended until 30 June 2022.
During our meetings with the DoH, the need to extend all COVID-19 MBS telehealth item numbers was emphasised, to support access for patients with complex needs and/or difficulties accessing videoconferencing.
MBS Item 288
The College is aware of and welcomes the Australian Labor Party’s pre-election pledge to re-instate MBS Item 288 (50% rural loading), and this commitment has been acknowledged by the DoH.
From our recent meetings, where we highlighted the urgent need to re-instate Item 288, we have been informed that the Minister for Health and Aged Care, The Hon Mark Butler MP, is currently deciding on the next steps. The DoH has assured the College that this advice is being informed by our advocacy.
The College will continue its engagement with the DoH to obtain clarity on the status of the telehealth program. As new details emerge, we will ensure to keep members updated via the website, Psyche and the President’s Update.
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