The Government of Australia has committed more than A$2bn ($1.4bn) to continue to provide at-home hospital services for an additional six months until 31 March 2021.

The aim is to extend telehealth and pathology services, GP-led respiratory clinics, home medicines delivery, public and private hospital services amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Also, the government is investing further in personal protective equipment (PPE).

This A$2bn funding brings the government’s commitment for the Covid-19 health response to more than A$16.5bn ($12bn) since March this year.

Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “By providing telehealth and home delivery medicine services we are reducing the risk of exposure to Covid-19 in the community while also supporting people in isolation to get the care they need.

“Importantly this also includes mental health services, delivered over the phone, by trained specialists and GPs.”

With the latest funds, patients can continue to access Medicare-subsidised telehealth for general practitioner, nursing, midwifery, allied health and allied mental health services.

In addition, telehealth will be available for essential specialist services, including consultant physician, geriatrician and neurosurgery services.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt noted: “Our Governments response to the pandemic brought forward a 10 year plan on telehealth within ten days.

“As a consequence, over 30 million consultations protected the health and wellbeing of Australians, and protected our health workers and the viability of their practices.”

Testing will be continued at up to 150 GP-led respiratory clinics in the country, while local pharmacists will make free home delivery of essential medicines to eligible people.

In July this year, the Government of Victoria state, Australia expanded the hospital bed capacity for Covid-19 patients, as part of its efforts to tackle the ongoing pandemic.