The Andrews Labor Government is better connecting patients across rural Victoria with top medical specialists via the internet thanks to a $5 million investment in telehealth to improve access to health care.
Metropolitan and regional health services are being invited to apply for funding to set up or expand telehealth services that enable their specialist clinics to deliver patient consultations securely online.
Through telehealth services, rural and remote patients can access face-to-face consultations with their medical specialist in the comfort of their own home or their local health services.
This means quicker and better access to medical specialists, as well as savings for patients and their families who no longer need to take time off work, travel long distances or pay for accommodation to get the care they need.
Telehealth consultations are carried out on a secure internet connection, ensuring privacy and confidentiality is protected.
The patient and doctor can see and hear each other and other health care providers can also be invited to join the consultation.
Priority areas for funding are health services that have a state-wide service responsibility and specialist clinic review appointments that can be appropriately provided via telehealth.
This includes specialist clinics treating chronic disease and vulnerable populations, as well as oncology, obstetric, endocrinology, orthopaedics, rheumatology and cardiology consultations.
These clinics have high numbers of patients travelling long distances to access specialist care.
Victorian metropolitan and regional health services that provide specialist clinics are eligible to submit an EOI. Collaboration between organisations is encouraged. The EOI closes on August 12.
Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Health Martin Foley
“We’re working hard to provide a better health system where all Victorians – no matter they live – can access the care they need, when they need it.”
“This means taking advantage of the latest advances in telehealth technology so more patients in rural Victoria can speak to medical experts face-to-face online, without traveling long distances.”
“Thanks to telehealth, more rural Victorians will enjoy better health outcomes with quicker and easier access to high quality medical advice, while also saving money.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020