Information for general practitioners working in evacuation centres

Role of GPs

Providing care via telehealth

Providing care via telehealth 

Exemptions to the ‘12-month rule’ in areas of natural disaster

Patients in disaster-affected areas are exempt from the existing relationship requirement (‘12-month rule’) for telehealth. This means patients do not need to have had a face-to-face consult with the treating GP or practice in the previous 12 months to access Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS)-subsidised telehealth services.

A person is exempt from the ‘12-month rule’ if, at the time of accessing a telehealth service, they are living in a local government area that is declared by a state or territory government to be a natural disaster area.

Because GPs in evacuation centres should only be providing care from centres for evacuees in the centre, all telehealth services required by non-evacuation centre patients should be provided by their usual GP or other service provider. PHNs should consider promoting GP telehealth services provided by the PHN for cases where a person’s regular GP is not accessible physically or via telehealth.

This event attracts CPD points and can be self recorded

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