April 22, 2020
by Anne Miller
There’s been a lot of spruiking and boasting from the Federal Government about the new telehealth services being offered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The aim is to keep people away from crowded surgery waiting rooms where they could be exposed to all sorts of germs …
If you believed the publicity, getting a prescription renewed would be as simple as logging on to your iPad or making a telephone call.
The new temporary, bulk-billed Medicare Benefits Schedule telehealth items are only available to some patients:
“Vulnerable” is the key word here. It is carefully defined and means:
A chronic health condition is medical condition that has been present (or is likely to be present) for at least six months or is terminal.
The rest of us? Crickets …
It doesn’t matter that you don’t want to get sick yourself, or expose yourself to a disease which you could pass on to someone who IS vulnerable.
Some economists (and quite a few social media commentators) have been expressing the view the cost of social isolation is too great.
They have been suggesting – in as many words – that people aged 60-plus could be sacrificed on the altar of the economy to allow younger folk to get on with their lives.
As an over-60s citizen that fits into none of the above categories, I’m feeling very expendable at the moment.