Due to the impact of COVID-19 many classes at RMIT University have moved online and a large portion of professionals in the CBD are working from home. Despite the risks posed by coronavirus, individuals may still be experiencing pressing medical concerns that require consultation. Medical Hub @ RMIT will remain open during these times as well as offering Telehealth/Phone consultations for coronavirus and non-coronavirus related conditions.
Telehealth is a relatively new concept in Australia, but it has been tried and tested and is widely used in other healthcare systems such as the NHS in the UK. Through its use in other locales, Telehealth has been proven itself to be an effective form of healthcare. Medical Hub @ RMIT are utilising Telehealth consultations during this time so that we can continue to deliver health services during challenging circumstances and continue to care for the staff and students of RMIT as well as the wider community of Melbourne’s CBD.
What is Telehealth?
Put simply, Telehealth is the distribution of healthcare services via phone, video call, or email. This could mean a video consultation or phone conversation with your doctor to demonstrate and discuss the symptoms of any conditions you may be suffering from. Your doctor will then make an assessment of your health and prescribe intervention as necessary in the form of prescription medicine, health advice, or referral to external services.
Currently, Medical Hub @ RMIT are only offering Telehealth consultations over the phone. We do not offer video conferencing or email consultations at this time.
What happens during a Telehealth consultation?
All Telehealth consultations take place over the phone. They are similar to a regular phone call you may have with a colleague or friend, but the person on the end of a line is a medical practitioner.
Typically, the conversation will begin by the doctor asking the patient to describe their symptoms or the medical issue they are facing. The doctor will make an assessment over the phone without seeing the patient face to face. This could mean a referral to an external service, a prescription, a referral for pathology, etc.
If the patient’s condition is difficult to diagnose without clinical examination they may be called into the practice for further assessment or referred elsewhere.
How much does a Telehealth consultation cost?
Telehealth consultations are being bulk billed for anyone with a Medicare card and direct billed for those with Medibank private. Others are charged the rebate, which ensures no out of pocket costs.
What sort of conditions can I discuss over the phone?
There are a wide range of conditions that can be discussed over the phone. At the moment, it is best to discuss a condition that does not require medical examination (e.g. a rash on your arm).
Some common use cases for Telehealth/phone consultations are:
- Repeat prescriptions
- Repeat pathology investigations
- Mental health consultations (not a mental healthcare plan)
- Medical certificates
- Discussing results from previous pathology
- Management of chronic conditions
- STI screenings (via referral)