Treatments and tests

Telehealth – delivering virtual care closer to home

Telehealth is just like any other appointment – the only difference is you are talking to your health care provider on screen.

People in regional Western Australia can use videoconferencing to attend appointments with their health care provider in Perth or another location. In some cases, it is also available to people in the city who find it hard to get to their health professional.

Connecting virtually with telehealth lets you talk to your health provider – by video or phone – from your local hospital, health clinic or even from home if you have good internet coverage and a suitable computer, tablet or phone. Read about how to set up your telehealth appointment at home.

For technical assistance or general telehealth enquiries call 1800 794 748.

Who can I contact about a telehealth appointment?

If you are a public health patient, the details below will help you find the right person to call about a telehealth appointment.

If you are a private patient, please contact your private specialist or provider. 

Are you new to telehealth and want to know how you can have an appointment by telehealth? 

When making a referral, your GP can request that telehealth is the preferred method for your specialist appointments, where appropriate. Talk to your GP about your referral. 

Do you already have a face-to-face appointment scheduled with a specialist and want to see if you can have the appointment by telehealth? 

You can ring the clinic where your appointment is scheduled and ask if your appointment can be by telehealth. The number for the clinic should be on your confirmation letter. 

Do you already have a telehealth appointment booked, but want to re-schedule?

You can ring the clinic to re-schedule your appointment. The contact details should be on your confirmation letter.

Do you have a scheduled telehealth appointment and want to find out more information about where to go and what to do?

Call your regional telehealth office. Contact details are listed on WA Country Health Service website (external site).

What services are offered through telehealth?

Some of the many services available with telehealth include:

  • aged care and rehabilitation
  • allied health services
  • burns
  • cancer services
  • cardiology
  • chronic conditions, including diabetes, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Emergency Telehealth Service (ETS)
  • ear nose and throat (ENT) and audiology
  • gastroenterology
  • general medicine
  • general surgery
  • haematology
  • Hospital in the Home (HITH)
  • mental health
  • neurological services
  • orthopaedics
  • paediatric services
  • pain management
  • plastic surgery
  • preparation for childbirth and parenting
  • renal and urology services
  • respiratory and sleep medicine
  • stroke
  • women’s health services
  • plus many more.
How do I make an appointment?

If you are a public patient, you should discuss with your health service provider whether your appointment can be conducted by telehealth. If this is possible, your local telehealth team will contact you with the relevant details.

If you are a private patient, you should speak with your GP or private provider.

What can I expect from an appointment?

A telehealth appointment is just like any other medical appointment – but you will see the specialist on a television screen in a private room at your local health centre or home. (Read more about telehealth appointments at home.)

You don’t have to operate any of the videoconferencing equipment yourself and most people say it is just like being in the room with the specialist.

You can also take a family member or support person with you for the appointment.

Any photographs, X-rays or test results your medical or health professional needs to see can be organised with you before the appointment and provided to them before or during your appointment.

All medical records are treated according to privacy legislation and WA Health standards.

How long will it take?

This depends what you need to talk about with your specialist and is likely to be longer if it’s your first appointment. As with all medical appointments, there are times when your specialist might be delayed and you have to wait.

It doesn’t take extra time for a telehealth appointment and you should also save time by avoiding unnecessary travel.

How private is a telehealth appointment?

Telehealth appointments are as private as in-person appointments. Both you and the medical or health professional will be in a private room. Measures are in place to ensure the videoconference is secure. If you wish, you can have family members or a friend in the room for support.

What is the cost?

In Australia, overseas visitors, overseas students and patients who are not eligible for Medicare under their current VISA arrangements are required to pay for the cost of their health care. Please contact your referred hospital Overseas Liaison Officer.

(Please note: If you are having a telehealth appointment at home or on a mobile device, downloading and installing applications and using your computer or device for a telehealth call will use data and may incur download costs from your internet service provider. Private providers using their own technology may charge patients for a telehealth consult as per their usual fee arrangements.)

Last reviewed: 28-07-2022

WA Country Health Service

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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