Telehealth service improves medical abortion access


Friday, 09 February, 2024

Telehealth service improves medical abortion access

Sexual Health Victoria (SHV) has introduced a telehealth medical abortion service to address the pressing issue of limited access to these services and medications, particularly in regional areas.

Recent findings reveal only one in 10 GPs in Australia actively engage in prescribing abortion medications, said Caroline Mulcahy, CEO, Sexual Health Victoria.

“This program is crucial in navigating substantial hurdles preventing nearly half of Victorians from accessing local care due to a scarcity of prescribers. SHV’s telehealth service, alongside medication delivery through postal services, stands out as a cornerstone of accessibility,” Mulcahy said.

“These challenges span geographical and social spectrums, and provide obstacles for healthcare providers and medication distribution.

“This innovative service not only bridges gaps imposed by distance, time and resources, but also affirms our dedication to building a healthcare system that is truly equitable and inclusive.”

Research supports telehealth as a practical solution. Working in collaboration with a pharmaceutical provider network, SHV supports accessibility and availability of medical abortion medications delivered confidentially via mail when the person prefers not to use a local pharmacy or if supply is unavailable.

Service users will receive guidance on steps to identify and address any potential issues, along with instructions on how to independently assess the success of their abortion. Research indicates that self-assessment is not only a safe option but is also preferred by individuals undergoing abortion compared to in-clinic follow-ups.

Image credit: iStock.com/Andrey Suslov

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