John Dennehy, Better Movement Clinic
John Dennehy, Better Movement Clinic Ebony Graveur

How telehealth in COVID-19 could affect allied services

A TOOWOOMBA allied health specialist says the outbreak of coronavirus will fundamentally change how people access healthcare outside of a hospital.

The Federal Government has announced the national "whole-of-population" expansion of telehealth services will be rolled out within days, allowing people who don't require a face-to-face consultation to speak to a GP or allied and mental health specialists.

Physiology centre Better Movement Clinic, which has two locations in Toowoomba and Dalby, already uses telehealth to reach clients in rural and remote areas.

Clinic director John Dennehy said the national expansion of telehealth services for allied health specialists would not only keep people isolated during the coronavirus outbreak, but also alter how people regularly accessed it.

"The main aim of allied health, particularly in the past couple of weeks, is to make sure people are minimising the number of possible hospitalisations," he said.

"People with diabetes and people with cardiac symptoms are being managed at home.

"At Better Movement, we have physiology, dietetics, and remedial massage, and the biggest cohort of clients are people with chronic conditions, like diabetes, heart and lung diseases.

"Because we are so heavily involved in rural and remote health, we are involved in telehealth.

"There is no (general telehealth) access currently, but the minister has said by next week, people will be able to access allied health services with telehealth.

"We're seeing how psychologists are changing their treatments through telehealth now, and this will change things through the entire sector."

Mr Dennehy said people should consider accessing allied health services rather than going to hospital, in a bid to free up clinical services for people who needed it most.

For more information about their services, head to the Better Movement Clinic website.


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