THE Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research, Jillian Skinner, met the ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, at Hume last week to see firsthand how telehealth technology will link Canberra Hospital clinicians to their counterparts in four Southern NSW hospitals.
Minister Skinner said the Improving Critical Care Outreach and Training in the ACT and South East NSW project is being developed collaboratively by the Southern NSW Local Health District, the NSW Ministry of Health and the ACT Health Directorate.
“The NSW Govern-ment supports telehealth initiatives such as this which see patients receiving the best possible care with treatments transcending geographical barriers.
“One of the great benefits of telehealth initiatives are that they give patients and their families access to clinical expertise closer to home which positively impacts not just their treatment options but their general comfort and well-being.
“This system will connect Canberra Hospital emergency department and helicopter base with hospitals at Queanbeyan, Moruya, Batemans Bay and Cooma.
“The pilot will run for six months and will be evaluated prior to further roll out to more sites. It is an exciting and innovative step forward in the delivery of health care in regional NSW,” Mrs Skinner said.
The Member for Monaro, John Barilaro, said it was great to see collaboration between ACT and NSW Government to ensure best care for cross-border patients.
“One of the many benefits of telehealth technology for the local community is its ability to connect patients to multiple high quality specialist clinical services closer to home,” Mr Barilaro said.
The Member for Bega, Andrew Constance, said the installation of telehealth technology has the potential to greatly improve treatment outcomes for local patients and save lives.
“It is great to see this technology being utilised locally to ensure specialist clinicians can both see a patient and instigate treatment earlier. It’s this kind of innovation that has the potential to save local lives.”
Mrs Skinner said telehealth initiatives have become a key component of clinical care and improving access to services in NSW.
“We currently have more than 600 videoconferencing locations across the state which are used for a range of services in the areas of mental health; critical and emergency care; oncology; radiology; diabetic foot care; genetic services; and, chronic disease management.
“The NSW Government is committed to supporting innovative projects such as this for the benefit of patients across NSW. We currently oversee the provision of telehealth technology in a variety of health facilities across regional NSW including Goulburn, Queanbeyan, Yass, Braidwood, Crookwell, Moruya, Bega, Batemans Bay, Cooma, Pambula and Bombala,” Mrs Skinner said.
“Telehealth affords local patients the opportunity to be treated locally with the support, guidance and expertise of clinicians at tertiary teaching hospitals such as Canberra.”