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Telehealth Services in Australia: Bridging Accessibility Gaps and Enhancing Care in Allied Health


It’s hard to forget the sudden transition to remote ‘everything’ that happened not so long ago during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m sure you remember the struggles of learning new online video conferencing systems and navigating online schooling. 

As difficult as this time was, the benefits of telehealth occupational therapy services and online speech therapy have been game-changing for so many individuals seeking these services. 

At Spot Therapy Hub, our telehealth journey actually started more than 10 years ago. That’s right, pre-pandemic! 

Rural and remote allied health services

In Australia, we experience unique challenges in ensuring equitable access to allied health services, mainly due to the distribution of our population. A 2011 study by Verdon and colleagues found that 98.6% of localities outside metropolitan areas in New South Wales and Victoria were unserviced at the ideal frequency by speech pathologists. This meant that many people requiring speech pathology services in Australia were simply missing out. This didn’t sit well with Kate Broderick, Principal Speech Pathologist at Spot Therapy Hub, and it inspired her to develop a service delivery model that would address this inequity.

The pandemic accelerated the development of technology for providing online speech therapy and telehealth occupational therapy in Australia and led to a general increase in people’s awareness of this option. Now those in rural and remote areas have more choice and control over how and where they access services – a fundamental value of the NDIS.

Other benefactors

The availability of these services benefits not only those in rural and remote areas but also individuals in urban settings. People in metropolitan areas now have the opportunity to access services in ways that are more convenient and comfortable.

These services benefit clients with medical needs who have previously faced barriers travelling outside their homes to access suitable therapy, as well as clients that need the services of professionals with a specialised skill set who aren’t available locally.

Telehealth services are also handy when a family member is sick. Some of our neurodivergent clients have found that telehealth and online sessions that occur in their home environment suit their learning better than a clinic or school-based session.

What does a telehealth session look like?

At Spot Therapy Hub, telehealth services are generally offered online using a videoconferencing app such as Zoom, however, this isn’t the only option. Sessions don’t have to be live, for example, your therapist might develop a video of an exercise or strategy that you can use and refer back to. Sessions can also include parent or carer coaching and training rather than direct therapy with a client.

Speech pathologists and occupational therapists at Spot Hub Therapy tailor sessions according to clients’ needs and interests. This could involve using the vast array of online resources available or accessing clinic resources presented remotely. 

Using a relationship-based model like we do at Spot Therapy Hub, means that trust is a priority and our therapists will ensure you feel comfortable and happy during your online allied health appointments.

For more information on how to schedule an online appointment with Spot Therapy Hub, and to find out how our telehealth occupational therapy and online speech therapy sessions in Australia work, visit our website today.