Telehealth must be made permanent

The Australian Association of Psychologists (AAPi) says telehealth must be made a permanent part of Australia’s healthcare system.

AAPi Executive Director Tegan Carrison welcomed the six month extension as part of this year’s Budget, but said certainty and permanency was needed now.

“Telehealth does not cost the government any extra money. It is simply a different delivery method of healthcare,” she said.

“The way a service is delivered - whether face to face or via telehealth - should be a decision made by the client and their own health professional, based on individual circumstances.”

Ms Carrison said telehealth had increased access to psychologists for hundreds of thousands of Australians and become a life saving option for many who would struggle to physically see a registered psychologist.

“We need a responsive healthcare system that can adapt to the changes occuring in our society and telehealth is a perfect example of this. “The fact that 54 million telehealth services were delivered to 13.5 million patients in the space of 12 months makes it a no-brainer. Stop extending telehealth and make it permanent.”

A survey of AAPi members in October 2020 found that 91 percent of psychologists supported telehealth being made permanent.

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