Even though we are being asked to stay home as much as possible, it is very important that you keep up your medical care and treatment. If you wait this could delay your recovery.
You can now do some medical appointments over the phone or video call using a service called telehealth. The TAC can pay for the telehealth appointments you need to help your recovery from your transport accident.
What is telehealth?
Telehealth is a convenient way to have a consultation with a GP, medical specialist, nurse or allied health provider by videoconference, or in some situations, over the phone. This means you have the option to access healthcare from home, or another location, without going to a hospital or clinic.
Telehealth uses technology (like computers and mobile phones, with high-speed internet) to connect people in different locations. Appointments happen in a similar way as it would in person.
In response to COVID-19, the TAC can pay for telehealth appointments for treatment and advice related to your transport accident. Please contact us if you have any concerns about being unable to access the help you need related to your transport accident.
Why use telehealth?
Telehealth can make it easier and more convenient to attend appointments. This may mean:
- your travel and accommodation costs are reduced
- there is less disruption to your life (family, work, routine)
- you can bring together different people involved in your care
- you can access care during a time of disruption or crisis (such as the COVID-19 pandemic)
Your treating team will discuss options with you and identify the best approach based on your needs. People often mix telehealth and face-to-face appointments. You can also choose to see your healthcare provider in person instead of having a telehealth appointment, depending on what is possible and what you prefer.
How do I arrange a telehealth appointment?
If you are interested in having an appointment using telehealth, speak to your provider to see if telehealth is an option for you. If it is, your provider will be able to make the booking for you.
What telehealth services will the TAC pay for?
We can pay for telehealth appointments with the following health providers to support your recovery from your transport accident:
- General practitioners
- Medical specialists (including psychiatrists)
- Exercise physiologists
- Occupational therapists
- Nursing continence service providers
- Prosthetists and orthotists
- Social workers
- Speech pathologists
- Network pain management providers
- Outreach service providers
- Case management providers
Can the TAC pay for telehealth for me if I am overseas and my provider is in Australia?
No, telehealth must be delivered to TAC clients in Australia (not overseas), even if the provider is delivering the service from Australia.
What technology do I need for telehealth?
Telehealth works well with videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, Coviu, or WhatsApp. Your provider will let you know the platform to use.
If you do not have access to videoconferencing, ask your provider if you have the option to have your appointment over the phone.
For how long will telehealth be an option?
The TAC introduced temporary funding of telehealth services in response to COVID-19, helping to ensure our clients can still access the treatments and services they need related to their transport accident.
Funding of temporary telehealth services was scheduled to end on 30 September 2020, but we have extended this funding until further notice, giving clients the ongoing convenience and flexibility of accessing health services from home.
Will the TAC pay for my equipment (e.g. phone, iPad) or internet bill to facilitate telehealth?
No, the TAC cannot pay for equipment or internet services to support telehealth appointments.
How can I prepare to get the most out of my telehealth appointment?
The University of Queensland has developed a useful guide to telehealth and a factsheet to help people get the most from their telehealth appointment.
What help is available for those who need interpreting services?
If English is not your first language, we can help pay for interpreting services. An accredited interpreter can translate what you say to your doctor or health professional and help you understand what they are saying to you.
You can also access government resources including:
- the Victorian Multicultural Commission's in-language advice and information on COVID-19 for people who speak a first language other than English
- the Victorian Government's information on interpreting and translation services
Where can I learn more about telehealth?
Some information on this page comes from the Attending your appointment using telehealth factsheet by the Agency for Clinical Innovation.
The Department of Health also has information about alternative ways to access health services during COVID-19.