Telehealth Services - Frequently Asked Questions
Please see below answers to a number of frequently asked questions about Telehealth services.
A telehealth consultation is a consultation that uses either telephone or video between a patient at one location and a medical practitioner located at another location.
Every patient’s situation is different but in general, the benefits of this service include:
- Improved access to a medical practitioner
- Reduced waiting time for a medical practitioner
- Reduced travel time and costs
- Reduced absence from work
In Australia, anyone 17 years and over can use telehealth consultation service. If you are under the age of 17 years, you can only use our service with the consent of and in the presence of, a parent or a guardian.
Telehealth service our doctors can provide are for:
- Requests for medical certificates or issuing repeat prescriptions for medicines
- Support for residents in aged care facilities
- Mental health consultations, counselling and similar services
- Routine chronic disease check-ups, especially if the patient is stable
- Any consultation where the trade-off between attending in person and staying at home favours the latter
- General medical advice
- Common coughs and colds
Just like any consultation with a doctor, including a visit to your local medical centre, we cannot guarantee what medical documents the doctor will issue you. You will have to have a consultation where the doctor will ask about your health history, symptoms and any other details required, so they can make an informed decision as to whether or not the consult will result in a medical document being supplied.
No. In case of an emergency, dial 000 for help.
No. You are able to attend a face-to-face consultation with your GP if you prefer. A telephone or video consultation will only happen if it is considered safe and suitable and you are happy to participate.
We have a telehealth consultation coordinator who arranges a telephone or video consultation between you and our medical practitioner.
Telehealth consultations require a lot of coordination at our end, so please try to keep your appointment.
If you need to cancel, please let us know immediately by calling 139247, because rescheduling telehealth consultations can be more complicated than rescheduling a face-to-face appointment.
Please note that if cancelling your GP appointment within 60 minutes of the scheduled time, you may still be charged the full fee.
For Psychology Telehealth, cancellations within 24 hours of the scheduled appointment will result in forfeiting the full fee.
You can help get the best from a telehealth video consultation by following these simple steps:
- Ensure 15 minutes prior to the consult start time your video enabled device is prepared and ready for use
- Avoid wearing brightly patterned or reflective clothing as this may not show up well on camera
- Switch your mobile off or to silent mode
- Speak clearly so your voice can be picked up by the microphone
- Look at the camera so you can achieve good eye contact with the doctor
- If you have a question or need help during the telehealth video consultation, just ask.
At the start, the doctor will introduce themselves and you will be asked some identifying questions such as your name, address, and date of birth to make sure the right patient and right health records are present. The doctor will speak with you and ask you questions in the same way as they would at a face-to-face consultation.
You and the doctor.
As with a face-to-face appointment, your spouse, partner, family or friend may accompany you if you wish. If you are under the age of 17 years, a parent or a guardian will have to present at all times.
The same privacy and confidentiality requirements that apply to face-to-face consultations apply to telephone and video consultations.
The doctor will be unable to examine you during a telehealth consultation. Sometimes, safe care can only be provided if an examination is conducted. Under these circumstances the doctor will inform you of this and discuss the next steps for you to receive safe care.
If you have special needs such as an interpreter or a wheelchair, please let our telehealth consultation coordinator know and they will make a note of this when your consultation with the doctor is confirmed.
No. We do not record telehealth consultations and we do not give patients permission to make their own recordings of a telehealth consultation. If the doctor thinks it would be helpful for your treatment to record particular images during your telehealth video consultation, they would first seek your consent to do so.
Most patients feel a little nervous at the beginning of their first telephone or video consultation because it’s a new way of seeing a doctor. However, most patients soon feel very comfortable with this kind of consultation. It’s very unlikely you’ll feel unable to continue with a telephone or video consultation. If this does happen, you can leave, although consultation fees may still apply.
A standard 15 minute telehealth consultation will cost $45. However, bulk billing is available if a patient has a valid Medicare card and meets the following criteria:
- a person under the age of 12 months, or
- a person who is experiencing homelessness, or
- a person who is in a COVID-19 impacted area, or
- a person receiving an urgent after-hours service (in unsociable hours 11pm to 7am).
A person who is in a COVID-19 impacted area means a patient who, at the time of accessing the telehealth service, has their movement restricted within the State or Territory, by a State or Territory public health requirement applying to the patient’s location.
A person who is in a COVID-19 impacted area would include a person located in areas of Victoria subject to stay at home restrictions. A list of these areas is available at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorias-restriction-levels-covid-19.
We are keen to get your feedback so we can continue to improve our telehealth consultation services.
Please email our team at:
You can ask to remain anonymous and for your feedback to remain confidential.