Patients said Telehealth, which is used to link people in rural areas to a range of clinicians in the state’s major hospitals and health services, saves time and money and is far more convenient than city visits.
Member for Warren-Blackwood, Terry Redman said that more than 15,000 country patients have used the telehealth service for outpatient appointments in the past year and the service was continuing to grow as people hear how convenient it is.
“It makes a big difference when regional patients can see their specialist via videoconference from their local hospital, and not have to make arrangements to leave family and work, travel for hours, and find accommodation,” Mr Redman said.
“The overwhelming feedback was that patients who attended an appointment via telehealth were very happy with the ease and quality of the service.
“It is clear that telehealth staff at the regional health services are seen by regional patients as professional and supportive, and that using the telehealth service is far better than having to travel to the city or regional centre.”
Almost all patients said the service was as effective as a “face to face” appointment and that speaking to their specialist from a regional site saved them time and money.
“The expansion of Telehealth is just one example of the State Government’s significant investment in regional health care through the Royalties for Regions program,” Mr Redman said.
“The response that 99 per cent of those surveyed would recommend the telehealth service is a pretty clear indication of the success of this investment.”
In the 2015-16 financial year, there were almost 33,500 occasions of clinical services delivered by telehealth. This comprises more than 16,500 emergency treatments, more than 5,000 mental health appointments and almost 12,000 outpatient treatments.