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The Australasian Institute of Digital Health has made its submission into the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) review Guidelines: Telehealth consultations with patients.

The Institute recommends the MBA consider replacing the terminology “technology-based consultation” with virtual care, or virtual health rather than telehealth.

Institute CEO Dr Louise Schaper said a revision of the MBA guidelines was a welcome opportunity to take a bigger leap forward and position virtual care more broadly in the community, where it had been well received particularly during the pandemic.

“We’re recommending that in its review of the guidelines, the MBA goes beyond the focus on consultations, which are the only form of healthcare activity in Australia that currently receives financial support under the Medical Benefits Scheme, and start considering virtual care including telehealth as a fundamental principle,” she said.

“Other healthcare activities can be provided remotely and very successfully such as obtaining second opinions, shared care, and monitoring of a patient’s health status using technology.

“Virtual care, in many instances and circumstances, can be perfectly capable of providing the high quality level of care and outcomes without the supplemental need of in-person presence.”

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