The Government welcomed the new research showing that “the health and wellbeing of Australians is increasingly supported by digital services” and said “the access Australians have to broadband has played a significant role connecting people to each other and to essential services”.
As reported by iTWire, almost half (48%) of survey respondents who had a medical consultation in the past two months have had a telehealth consultation, while the number of respondents 65 and over saying that their household has accessed telehealth services doubled from one in eight (13 per cent) to one in four (27 per cent).
And around two thirds (63 per cent) of all respondents said they are now open to more frequently using telehealth services after COVID-19.
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said:“The research supports the decision by NBN Co to offer higher bandwidth NBN connections to Australian GP clinics at no extra cost during the pandemic, allowing them to provide more services by telehealth.”
“Telehealth services remain critical during COVID-19 and are vitally important for access to quality healthcare at home, especially for more vulnerable people such as older Australians,” Minister Fletcher said.
“During the pandemic, Australians have proven themselves incredibly resourceful at finding new and creative ways stay active, engaged, productive and connected with their family and friends.
“With the NBN available to more than 11.4 million homes and businesses across the country, Australians have been much better off than had the rollout continued under Labor’s original plan, which would have left 3.5 million fewer homes able to connect.”