Most Mid and North Coast health practitioners will qualify for a free six-month internet speed boost to enable them to conduct video appointments.
The offer is being made available by NBN Co to those working in ‘telehealth premises’. It is accessed through internet service providers.
“This initiative further supports the good work North Coast Primary Health Network is already doing in assisting health professionals to introduce video consultations, though the free healthdirect Video Call platform,” said Julie Sturgess, NCPHN Chief Executive.
“Telehealth is giving people the opportunity to keep up their regular GP visits via phone or video appointments – while helping to eliminate the spread of COVID-19 by following social distancing guidelines.”
‘Telehealth premises’ are defined by NBN Co as registered business premises used by an appropriately qualified service provider to provide telehealth services.
This includes any of the following services delivered using voice or internet over the nbn™ network:
✔ General practitioner services
✔ Medical specialist services
✔ Nurse practitioner services
✔ Mental health treatment
✔ Chronic disease management
✔ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health assessments
✔ Treatment of eating disorders
✔ Pregnancy support counselling
✔ Treatment of patients in aged care facilities
✔ Disability services
✔ Any other services notified by your organisation to NBN as being telehealth services.
Internet service providers will use these definitions to determine if their customer is eligible for the offer, said Ryan Williams, Head of NBN Co National Stakeholder Relations.
NBN Co is supporting the delivery of enhanced telehealth services by upgrading telehealth premises to 50Mbps download and 20Mbps upload connections at no extra cost for a period of six months.
This upgrade will support multiple video conferencing streams simultaneously and provide a fast, reliable broadband connection, Ryan said.
NBN Co has launched a dedicated landing page detailing their response to COVID-19.
The NBN Co initiative complements the efforts of the Federal Government, which recently announced that telehealth services would be made available to all Australians under bulk billing.
The expansion of telehealth is part of the government’s continuing aim to encourage social distancing practices and continue to flatten the COVID-19 curve.
For more information, go to: www.ncphn.org.au