Call for telehealth to remain after covid-19

Call for telehealth, drive thru vaccinations and digital prescriptions to remain after covid-19

With the gradual easing of restrictions across Victoria, Monash Partners Academic Health Science Centre, a partnership across leading health services and research institutions, has engaged with the Victorian community’s views on health services changes such as telehealth appointments, drive through vaccinations and digital prescriptions during and after COVID-19.

A survey gathered results from more than 1,100 people living across Victoria on health care experiences during the pandemic, their needs, future aspirations and priorities for our healthcare system moving forward. The samples were generally representative, with an even distribution of men and women aged between 18-70+ living across Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Results showed there was strong support to retain the following health care changes:

  • GP telehealth 72%
  • Drive through flu vaccinations 69%
  • Digital prescriptions 68%
  • Increased Medicare-funded mental health sessions 67%
  • Online mental health programs 65%

Consumers reported the benefits of telehealth to be reduced travel time, waiting time, and parking costs.

Executive Director of Monash Partners Academic Health Science Centre, Professor Helena Teede said the results are not surprising.

“This pandemic has resulted in rapid changes to how we can deliver health care whilst trying to keep our community safe. Here we have had the opportunity to explore early community experiences and attitudes to these service changes, to see what our community values most, and what they believe is and isn’t working for them,” said Professor Teede.

“The results have shown that overall our community believes our health system has coped well during COVID- 19. Most people reported that they easily accessed health services during this time, which is a great reflection on our current system.

“That said, it has allowed us to evaluate what consumers really want to retain in terms of their healthcare, and telehealth tops this list. Telehealth does not meet all health service needs, but clearly our community perception is that it has a place within our health system. Now it is up to us to do further work to define where it is most appropriate and safe, how to extend to virtual care with remote monitoring, and how to optimise patient and provider experiences, whilst also ensuring equity of access to care,” said Professor Teede.

Consumers also reported wanting the following measures undertaken by our healthcare system to keep them safe when face to face context was needed:

  • Health professionals practicing hand hygiene 90%
  • Physical distancing waiting rooms 88%
  • Cleaning surfaces 86%
  • Sanitation stations (hand sanitiser) 85%
  • Screening questions on entry 77%

Please find our ‘at a glance’ stats on the infographics, HERE and HERE.

Monash Partners is a partnership between leading health service, teaching and research organisations focused on innovating for better health.

Our partners include: Alfred Health, Monash Health, Monash University, Peninsula Health, Eastern Health, Cabrini Health, Epworth HealthCare, Burnet Institute, Hudson Institute and Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. Our associate members are La Trobe University and Latrobe Regional Hospital.

The purpose of Monash Partners is to connect researchers, clinicians and the community to innovate for better health for around three million Australians and beyond.

Media enquiries:

Amanda Boshier

Monash Partners Academic Health Science Centre, Media and Communications Manager

0412 224 729, amanda.boshier@monash.edu