Telehealth opens many opportunities for accessibility to healthcare services. However, all healthcare professionals in South Africa must practice within the guidelines of the Health Professions Council (HPCSA), and till recently, telehealth was not permitted without the presence of another therapist physically present with the patient on the other end. When South Africa was placed under lockdown due to the COVID19 pandemic, this included therapy services that, while very important to the wellbeing of patients, were not deemed life or death essential services, and so many therapy practices were closed during this time. This posed a major concern for patients who were in the middle of rehabilitation who would lose much of the progress made in therapy due to the long discontinuation of services, and for patients who were in pain, or needed psycho social support during this incredibly difficult time. It was with these concerns in mind, and the pressure by therapists to the HPCSA to amend the guidelines to make provision for telehealth, that teletherapy became a reality for South Africans.
Of course with anything new there were many questions about how traditionally very hands-on therapies such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy or speech and language therapy could provide these therapies virtually. In this episode I spoke to a physiotherapist, who was instrumental in supporting health professionals to be embrace teletherapy effectively, as well as and two occupational therapists who have created a multidisciplinary online therapy platform. They shared their views and experiences with the teletherapy and the hustle to move teletherapy forward in South Africa.
Renisha from My Online Therapist
Renisha is an occupational therapist and founder of My Online Therapist. With 10 years of experience in schools, communities and business settings, Renisha has used her strengths to network, collaborate and hustle with many different types of people. My Online Therapist is a product of the curiosity to make therapy for all families in SA more accessible.
Baheera Surty Diketo Inclusive Education
Basheera is an occupational therapist and has experience of working with children of different abilities and their families in communities, hospitals, non-profit organisations and private practices. She is the founder of Diketo Inclusive Education, an organisation that supports and trains Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners and primary schools on how to build inclusive play and learning spaces. Basheera was nominated by News24 as one of the “100 Young Mandela’s of the future” based in her work with children and their families.
Tiaan Moolman TelehealthSA

Tiaan is a physiotherapist with a Postgraduate Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy (OMT 1) certification through the Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy Group of the South African Society of Physiotherapy. Tiaan’s experience varies from orthopaedic, neurological, and paediatric outpatient to hospital settings and he has worked throughout Johannesburg since graduating in 2010. Tiaan is now the owner of E-MedCentre and his private practice, Christiaan Moolman Physiotherapy Inc. has blossomed into a well-run, remarkably busy multidisciplinary centre. Tiaan still treats patients as the lead Physiotherapist as well as functioning as a Director, six days a week, all while passing on his knowledge to his colleagues and team of 4 excellent Physiotherapists. Tiaan is dedicated to continuing his education and evolving his skills, he continuously thrives to advance his practice by combining the most current, evidence-based literature with a holistic approach. He is passionate about his work and prides himself in connecting with his patients as they embark on their journeys. He has been an avid supporter or tele-health and founded the Telehealth-SA Facebook group in 2020 to support therapists wanting to journey into telehealth during the COVID19 lockdown period in South Africa.

People need to be trained at varsity level on telehealth so that more people can have acces to healthcare in all areas - Tiaan Moolman, physiotherapist and founder of TelehealthSA Click To Tweet

Links and Resources:

My Online Therapist website: https://myonlinetherapist.co.za/

E-MedCentre website: https://www.emedcentre.com

Diketo Inclusive: https://diketosa.com

Telehealth-SA Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/249483202742691/

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Music credit:

Original Theme music produced by Grapo
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