Before COVID-19 pandemic, only 3% of the Australian population participated in telehealth consultation. Now, 73% of the population recognises its importance – mostly young people.
In the 2020 CommonBnk GP Insights Report, medical education provider HealthCert shows that there was a significant increase in telehealth access by Australians.
Figures show that the younger generation is more likely to embrace telehealth as compared to their older counterparts. They believed that through this platform, they could visit their GPs more often.
Telehealth expansion allowed patients to access healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the RACGP 2020 survey that showed GPs are in need of more telehealth training, over 90% of general practices across Australia were able to adopt telehealth in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Insights report revealed that the majority of the population expressed a positive attitude towards telehealth, stating factors such as better and faster access and reduced costs.
Due to the threat of infection, patients avoided face-to-face consultations with their GPs and this particular factor contributed to the sudden increase in telehealth use.
However, older Australians still prefer to visit their GPs personally.
The Insight report stated that people should be educated about the value of telehealth.
Providing greater awareness for the people could allow them to change their attitude towards telehealth.
Finally, 31% of the population said that they would prefer telehealth even if the pandemic is over.