Telehealth is a way to access essential Medicare funded health services remotely using telephone and video technology. All general practitioners (GPs), medical specialists, and mental health or allied health professionals are able to provide phone and/or video consultations (telehealth) to any one with or without COVID-19. This will benefit all people living with HIV who are self-isolating, and minimise COVID-19 transmission risks for clients and staff.
From 13 March to 31 March 2021, COVID-19 Temporary MBS telehealth service item numbers have been created to allow GPs including s100 Prescribers and other health professionals to provide essential health services to people in their own homes via phone and/or video, if those services are normally bulk billed. As HIV is considered a chronic health condition, all Medicare eligible people living with HIV in Australia are eligible for bulkbilled telehealth services.
During these consultations you can still have your health professional prescribe your medication including HIV antiretroviral medication as well as order your pathology and diagnostic imaging tests if needed. For HIV related health matters such as s100 prescription repeats, you can use telehealth to access your regular health provider (or another provider within the same practice) as long as you have seen that health provider as least once face-to-face in the last 12 months and your health has been stable during this time e.g. stable viral load and CD4 count results. If you need a physical examination, you will need to attend your appointment in person.
For more details who can use telehealth, what appointments you can access, what other services are available, how to use telehealth, and how to make a telehealth appointment, please visit the Australian Government Telehealth information page.
Positive Life will continue to offer professional and peer support by telephone, email or online as required. You are not alone.
If you are a person living with HIV feeling anxious, isolated or alone or caring for someone living with HIV and not sure where to seek help, call and speak to one of our Peer Support or Treatments Officers at Positive Life NSW on (02) 9206 2177 or 1800 245 677 (free call) or email firstname.lastname@example.org