A new report says the number of health jobs in Britain has plummeted by over 50% in the past decade, with fewer than 10% of all the positions being filled by telehealth practitioners.
The BBC is reporting that telehealth is now “a minority occupation” in Britain, with only around 4,500 health practitioners and health workers being employed in the UK.
Telehealth, or “health-based telehealth”, has long been a controversial topic, with some arguing that telepeople are not qualified to provide the high-quality care they claim to provide, and others pointing to a lack of evidence for their claims.
“There is no evidence to suggest that teleworkers are able to provide better care than health-based practitioners or doctors,” the report by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) said.
It noted that, between 2011 and 2017, the number and size of telehealth roles fell by more than half from more than 14,000 to just over 3,000.
This means that just over half of all health professionals are now employed in telehealth.
In contrast, only about 10% or less of all doctors are telehealth doctors, the report found.
This comes after an IHME report last year showed that the number, size and number of people receiving NHS funding from telehealth has nearly tripled in the last decade.
In addition to being a minority occupation, the telehealth sector has been the subject of increasing concern by health professionals in recent years.
In July, the National Health Service (NHS) said it was considering legal action against telehealth providers who it said were “deceptive” in claims of higher patient satisfaction.NHS Health England last year launched an investigation into a practice known as “the practice of telemedical”, where some telehealth professionals claim to have a higher degree of expertise and better treatment than they actually do.
The practice of Telemedicine has been blamed for the increasing number of deaths among patients.