Telehealth. The Telehealth Expansion Project, now available at Smithton District Hospital, will improve access to health services and reduce the costs of transport.
The Computers on Wheels service, or CoWs, was rolled out in Smithton and Deloraine last week as part of an initiative of the Delivering Safe and Sustainable Clinical Services White Paper.
The project will enable patients to take less time off work or caring responsibilities, less travel and accommodation costs, and less time spent travelling through video appointments.
“In just two telehealth appointments, a recent patient from Smithton avoided more than 1600 kilometres and 20 hours travel time to get to their health professional in Hobart,” Minister for Health Michael Ferguson said.
“Another Launceston patient avoided 1200 kilometres and 15 hours travel time over three appointments.”
The CoWs are part of a suite of options available to locals who would otherwise have to travel for their appointments.
Video conferencing facilities are available at several health service locations statewide, including outpatient clinics. Patients are also able to use telehealth in their own home using a computer, tablet or smartphone that has a camera, microphone and speaker.
Patients who are required to access health services outside of their geographical area can ask their doctors if their condition is clinically appropriate for telehealth.