Virtual Emergency Department Will Care For More Victorians

17 March 2024

The Allan Labor Government is expanding Australia’s first ever virtual emergency department, doubling the number of patients that can use the service to get the care and advice they need, and potentially avoid an unnecessary trip to hospital in the process.

Premier Jacinta Allan and Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas today announced that the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department (VVED) – which currently delivers free urgent care via video consultations to around 550 Victorians every day – will be expanded to be able to care for more than 1,000 people daily.

Starting as a pilot in Melbourne's north in October 2020, the VVED rolled out statewide in April 2022 and has provided clinical assessments, medical advice, treatment and local referrals to more than 256,000 patients.

The service has helped 86 per cent of its patients avoid an unnecessary trip to hospital. This frees up our busy emergency departments for those who need them most.

The Labor Government will invest more than $235 million to continue the critical 24/7 service delivered by the Northern Hospital and recruit additional clinicians to double its capacity, so it can assist more than 1,000 Victorians with consultations directly from home or work.

It will also support more direct referrals from aged care, paramedics in the field, primary health networks, the Nurse on Call service and self-referrals from the community – helping take further pressure off the health system.

Victorians are also continuing to access the Labor Government’s 29 Priority Primary Care Centres (PPCCs) in record numbers, with a total of more than 316,000 visits since the initial rollout began in September 2022.

If faced with an emergency, people should still call Triple Zero or present to their closest emergency department.

To access the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department, please visit Link .

Quote attributable to Premier Jacinta Allan

“We’re doubling the Virtual ED’s capacity so more Victorians can get the urgent care they need, from their own home – taking pressure off our busy emergency departments.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas

“With too many people unable to see their GP and with bulk-billing doctors few and far between, there is more pressure on hospitals – but our investments in the virtual emergency department and the Priority Primary Care Centres are helping deliver more accessible and affordable care to people, when and where they need it.”

Quote attributable to Member for Mill Park Lily D'Ambrosio

"Doubling the capacity of the Virtual ED service will ensure more members of our community have access to this alternative urgent care option which is helping reduce pressure on our busy emergency departments."

Quote attributable to Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny

“Congratulations to our local Northern Hospital team who are delivering this innovative service – their hard work in designing and developing the VVED is improving care across the state and seeing real results.”

Quote attributable to Member for Yan Yean Lauren Kathage

"I am thrilled that we are expanding our Virtual ED which provides critical care to so many Victorians including communities right here in Melbourne's North."

Reviewed 17 March 2024

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