Better Access Telehealth Services for people in rural and remote areas

The Australian Government is improving mental health support for people who live in rural and regional Australia by investing in Better Access services via video conferencing.

Page last updated: 02 April 2019

Telehealth services for people in rural areas

The Australian Government recognises the potential benefit of telehealth to deliver mental health services, especially to people in rural and remote areas.

On 1 November 2017, the Better Access initiative was expanded to include telehealth consultations to improve access to mental health services for people in regional, rural and remote Australia.

A telehealth service is a psychological therapy service that is delivered via video conference where both a visual and audio link has been established between a patient and their treating allied health professional. Telehealth services can be delivered by psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists that are registered with Medicare.

Eligible patients are required to have a Mental Health Treatment Plan and be located in a rural and remote area, namely, Modified Monash Model areas 4-7. To find out if you are located in an eligible area, please visit the MMM locator, select the ‘MMM classification’ and enter the location.

From 1 September 2018, further changes to Medicare took effect so that eligible patients in rural and remote areas have the option of accessing all of their Better Access sessions via videoconference.

From 1 November 2018, eligible general practitioners and medical practitioners will be able to deliver focussed psychological strategies via videoconference.

For more information, please refer to the Better Access Telehealth Guidelines and the Better Access Telehealth Frequently Asked Questions.

Better Access Telehealth Guidelines (PDF 507 KB)
Better Access Telehealth Guidelines (Word 159 KB)

Better Access Telehealth Frequently Asked Questions (PDF 490 KB)
Better Access Telehealth Frequently Asked Questions (Word 158 KB)