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Telehealth an alternative to travelling for regional patients

Investment in technology over the past year has added 600 telehealth-enabled consult rooms, enabling thousands of more patients to access specialist care from regional locations.

During Telehealth Awareness Week, people are encouraged to ask their specialist if they can have their appointments at their local health service, rather than travelling to Perth.

In 2017, more than 18,000 country patients had their specialist outpatient appointments using videoconferencing equipment as part of the telehealth network – an average of 350 consults per week.

As new hospitals are being built across the State they are being equipped with telehealth points – with 300 telehealth locations at Perth Children’s Hospital alone.

More than 30 outpatient specialties are delivered via telehealth for country people. The top five in 2017 were plastic surgery, respiratory medicine, haematology, orthopaedics and gastroenterology.

Health services delivered by telehealth include emergency care, cancer treatment, palliative care, mental health, stroke care, surgical follow-up, wound care, and education for chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma.

As well as investing in health infrastructure, the Western Australian Government is also investing in innovative clinical service development so that health care reaches those who need it the most.