Date: 28 May 2021
The RACGP were invited to comment on the Healthdirect Australia 2021-24 Strategic Plan.
Healthdirect has a valuable platform to help consumers navigate the Australian health landscape through the development, sharing and promotion of evidence-based consumer information and resources. They also manage a number of helplines, video call services and COVID-19 services.
The RACGP believes Healthdirect should aim to support and not duplicate or undermine existing health system infrastructure, and has concerns about the impact any free telehealth service may have on the viability of existing GP services especially after-hours deputising services and GP afterhours home visits.
The RACGP also believes that Healthdirect can play a role in encouraging consumers to have a regular GP/general practice and in supporting continuity of care by linking back to a patients usual GP after each encounter with a Healthdirect service.