Information for Patients


What is telehealth?

Telehealth is the secure transmission of a clinical consultation by videoconference over the internet. This is a way for you to have consultations with health professionals without the need and inconvenience of you travelling to hospital. A Hunter New England Health clinician can connect to you over the internet whether you are at home, at work, in a residential aged care facility, at your GP or your local community hospital.

Download theHNEHealth_Telehealth_Brochure 2017.pdf  or previous Telehealth patient flyer 2014.pdf


Which clinicians offer telehealth?

All Hunter New England Health clinicians can offer services via telehealth, if the consultation is clinically appropriate for telehealth. Your clinician, whether specialist, nurse, allied health or phamacist will be able to advise you if your appointment is appropriate for telehealth.

What are the advantages of telehealth?

  • Less, or no, travel time and associated costs and inconvenience to you.
  • A coordinated care approach with your GP or other health providers.
  • Fewer disruptions.

What are the disadvantages of telehealth?

  • Telehealth consultations may not always be clinically appropriate.
  • Your Hunter New England Health clinician may require physical examinations, investigations or tests that require you to attend in person.
  • Poor internet connection may cause the video or audio to fail.
  • Medicare has some restrictions on who is eligible for telehealth.

What if I prefer face-to-face consultations?

Telehealth can be part of your care plan, but only if you want it to be. You can always choose to see your clinician in person if you prefer. That is your decision.

What equipment do I require for telehealth consultations?

  • Access to a reliable broadband internet connection.
  • An email address.
  • A suitable device with a camera, microphone and speakers (eg. Windows or Mac computer, or an Apple iPad/iPhone or Android smart phone or tablet device).
  • A private, well lit area where you will not be disturbed or interrupted during the consultation.
  • If you do not have this equipment, you may also attend the consultation with participating GPs, or at your community health facility.

How secure and private is telehealth?

  • The software Hunter New England Health uses is similar to Skype, though is completely secure, encrypted and confidential.
  • Your personal information, and the consultation, will be private and confidential.
  • The consultation will not be recorded.
  • The same privacy provisions and legislation relevant to traditional appointments apply to all telehealth appointments.

What will it cost?

  • There is no cost to you from Hunter New England Health.
  • You may be asked to give consent for Hunter New England Health to bulk bill Medicare.
  • Telehealth will use some of your internet download capacity. Usage is approximately 0.077GB per 10 minutes. This is similar to Skype and Facetime usage. 
  • If your GP takes part, you will need to ask them if there are any costs to you.



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