Telehealth or "Skype" Consultation
I can provide medical consultations via Skype. These are known as “Telehealth” consultations. They are generally appropriate for patients who would otherwise have to travel a long distance to see me.
What do I need to have a Skype Consultation?
You will need a computer (equipped with a webcam and speakers) connected to broadband internet and with Skype software installed.
Skype software is free to download and use. Internet usage may incur extra costs depending on your internet plan.
Minimum requirements and further information can be found here.
Having troubles with Skype? These user guides might help.
What does a Telehealth (Skype) consultation cost?
Appointments are booked as for face to face appointments, allocated normal consultation times (initial consultation 60 minutes) and charged at normal fees.
For patients who are outside the inner metropolitan areas there is now a Medicare benefit for Skype (“Telehealth”) consultations, as there is for face to face consultations.
This is an initiative from Medicare to improve access to specialists for Australians in rural or remote areas.
As for face to face consultations, a valid referral from your GP or another specialist is required to access Medicare benefits. For overseas patients and most patients living within inner metropolitan areas no Medicare benefit is claimable.
To see whether you are eligible for a Medicare rebate for a Telehealth consultation please visit the MBS website.
How do I organise a Telehealth (Skype) appointment?
Can I have a mixture of Telehealth (Skype) and face to face appointments?
Yes. Some country patients prefer to travel to Sydney for their initial appointment and then have review appointments via Telehealth (Skype). For others an initial appointment via Telehealth (Skype) allows them to “meet” and consult me without the inconvenience and cost of a trip to Sydney. Often I will then order tests (bloods, ultrasound etc) that can be undertaken locally and followed up with another Telehealth (Skype) appointment. Sometimes specialist investigations are recommended, these may not be available locally. In this case an initial Telehealth (Skype) consultation can help you co-ordinate these investigations into one trip to Sydney (or another major centre), minimising the time, financial and personal burden of investigation and treatment.
So far the feedback I’ve received from country patients, who have utilised Telehealth (Skype) appointments, has been universally good.
Final check list before your first Skype Appointment.
- Make sure you have Skype working and you are online
- Add me as a Skype contact. To do this,
- Open Skype and choose contacts from the menu
- Click on “Add Contact”
- Type in “drgabrielledezarnaulds” and click find
- Click the add contact button and this will automatically send a request for me to add you as a contact
- 10 minutes or so before your appointment, please call my rooms on the landline and we will make sure everything is good to go at our end
- I will initiate the Skype call and call you from my computer