GP’s in push for Skype Clinics ! Doctors are calling for changes to the out-dated government regulations to boost the growth in video consultations between GP’s and patients to replace in-person appointments. Using technology such as Skype could improve access, boost efficiency and cut costs to the health care system especially in an ageing population.
The AMA and the RACGP say limits on eligibility for Medicare payments are a barrier as are rules that prescriptions have to be on paper. They say that telehealth is an obvious way of creating efficiency and in todays IT enhanced world Medicare is lagging behind.
Virtual consultations could work well for people with chronic conditions and it is envisioned a mix of face to face as well as Skype could be employed.
Currently Medicare subsidies are available for video consultations with specialists for patients outside major cities as long as they are located at least 15km from the medic or live in an aged care facility – but they are not available for GP consultations.
The RACGP is calling for a removal of the restrictions on electronic consultation and communication between patients and doctors to allow greater use of IT.
The thoughts of this blog are of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the Nurses for Nurses Network.