Bushfire Crisis: $30 Million Funding for Telehealth Mental Health Package

Bushfire Crisis: $30 Million Funding for Telehealth Mental Health Package

The devastating 2019-20 Australian bushfires continue to rage on, with at least 28 recorded deaths nationally. Hundreds of structures have been destroyed and millions of animals and livestock have perished. Unfortunately, there is no end in sight, with experts warning the fires could could continue for months.

Thousands of Australians have been evacuated from their homes and displaced due to the severity of the fires, with many experiencing unforgettable death, destruction and loss.

In response, the Australian government has pledged $76 million dollars to assist with treating the emotional trauma these fires have caused. The ‘mental health package’ will ensure firefighters and residents in fire affected communities have increased access to free psychological services.

Almost $30m of the total funding will go directly to boosting telehealth services and increasing the amount of free psychological therapy sessions bushfire-affected people can access through Medicare. To make these items more accessible, patients will not require a mental health plan from a GP or a diagnosed illness. The item numbers are in effect from 17th January 2020 until 31st December 2021.

Medicare Item Numbers for Bushfire Crisis

Coviu, Australia's leading telehealth software provider has established a new service for bushfire affected communities. Those affected can access free healthcare services via telehealth video consultations, by booking right here on Online Doctors Directory Australia. This service can help reduce the burden on local clinics and allow patients to access healthcare from the comfort of their own home, or wherever they are currently taking shelter. 

To read more about Coviu's Bushfire Relief Service, click here. 

To access a list of clinicians offering services under this initiative, click here.