The role of telehealth in its widest sense has been increasingly a focus of health services and implementation research as a valuable mode of rural service delivery.

The advent of COVID and the need to provide services at a safe distance led the Minister for Health to announce new MBS items for both video and telephone consultations.

The swift implementation of expanded item numbers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic precluded contemporaneous, comprehensive evaluation.

There is now an urgent need to understand the conditions required for optimal utilisation of telehealth, particularly for those in rural and remote Australia.

Spinifex has outlined research questions and proposed strategies to evaluate the implementation of new telehealth item numbers in a written submission to Government.

Read the Spinifex Network’s rapid response to Government here.