Doctors on Demand launches virtual bulk-billed mental health assessment service with GPs
Leading Australian telehealth company, Doctors on Demand, has launched a new, bulk-billed mental health service aimed at providing easily accessible, professional support to individuals right across Australia.
The new service virtually connects patients to mental health-trained doctors to discuss a Mental Health Treatment Plan at no cost to them. Doctors on Demand is the only Australian virtual health provider to offer a service like this, completely online and with a bulk-billed payment structure for those with a current Medicare card.
Doctors can assess and, if appropriate, develop a Mental Health Treatment Plan, enabling patients to claim Medicare rebates on up to 10 individual and 10 group sessions per year with a qualified mental health professional, such as a psychologist, lowering the cost of care.
Doctor on Demand’s new mental health service will help to bridge gaps in patient healthcare by tackling the limitations of in-person appointments with GPs, such as geographic location, personal physical and mental conditions, and long waiting times, which for some, can make physical medical appointments unattainable.
Amidst the high cost of living pressures Australians are facing, there’s a clear trend of individuals delaying or not pursuing much-needed health services. The bulk-billed service hopes to aid this problem and facilitate access to further subsidies for vital mental health care.
In support of this, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed that the proportion of people who reported that cost was a reason for delaying or not seeing a health professional for their mental health when needed increased to 19.3% in 2022-23, up from 16.7% in 2021-22. Dr Magdalene Dubert (MBChB FRACGP), a General Practitioner with Mental Health Skills training who has joined the Doctors on Demand mental health service, says that online services give doctors the ability to increase community care by removing barriers to access.
“If it makes you feel safer and more comfortable talking about mental health from the comfort and privacy of your own home, these services are a great option. If you have constraints due to geography, you can go online. This is about making mental health support more accessible”.
“Supported online treatment can be a convenient, clinically effective, and cost-efficient way for individuals to manage their mental health. With this new service, Doctors on Demand aim to make this option readily available to people, while respecting their preferences for different treatment approaches or combinations thereof,” adds Dr Dubert.
Chief Operating Officer, Kirsty Garrett, agrees that making telehealth services more widely accessible and financially viable can help to ensure that Australians receive necessary primary medical care conveniently, no matter where they are.
“Almost half of all Australians aged 16–85 years have faced mental health challenges at some point, and about one in five adults deal with it every year. That’s why we’re committed to making it easier for people to get the help they need. We offer telehealth mental health treatment plans via a fully online, fully bulk-billed service, so you can access support no matter where you are, in a space you feel comfortable opening up in – like your home”
“We’re strong proponents of telehealth because it means you can get medical help quickly, no matter where you are. We’re here to provide straightforward, convenient, and effective healthcare for all Australians,” concludes Kirsty.
The new virtual mental health service is available via the website,