Call for greater certainty over telehealth

Psychologists say telehealth needs to be made a permanent part of health services, not merely extended by three months.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday announced telehealth services would be extended to June 30 and that the government would consider them further “in the months ahead”.

Australian Association of Psychologists executive director Tegan Carrison said a short term extension did not give clients or registered psychologists the certainty they need.

“To be able to offer it as a permanent service will make a significant difference to the practitioner-client relationship and result in better health outcomes,” she said.

In July 2020, Health Minister Greg Hunt talked about telehealth having a long-term future.

“Three months is certainly not a long-term future,” Ms Carrison said.

“Many clients make appointments eight weeks ahead of time.

“Our members need assurance that telehealth is here to stay, and we hope the government will now put in the legislative effort required to make telehealth a truly permanent offering.”

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