Ease in appointments

Smithton District Hospital has received a new telehealth unit as part of the state government Telehealth Expansion Project. Pictured are (from left) Wendy Palmer, Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam, Kate Medwin, Minister for Health Michael Ferguson, Jocelyn and Ian Morice, and Sarah Medwin. Picture: Ashleigh Force.

Communication. Patients at Smithton District Hospital can now dial in for appointments through ‘telehealth’ conferencing services. 

Telehealth utilises telecommunication services to provide medical advice.

The Computers on Wheels service, or CoWs, is an initiative of the state government’s Delivering Safe and Sustainable Clinical Services White Paper. 

The local hospital recently received a new portable unit to complement two existing fixed units. 

The service has benefited both staff and patients, says director of nursing Sharan McLaren.

“It’s saving us a lot of time, we can now link in to meetings via telehealth, saving us time we would have spent on the road,” she says.

“It streamlines the process for patients, being able to use telehealth to speak with a specialist in Launceston or Hobart.”

Minister for Health Michael Ferguson said the Telehealth Expansion Project was initiated to improve access to health services and reduce the cost of transport.

“More Tasmanians will be able to access their health appointments locally,” Mr Ferguson said.

“Telehealth enables patients to take less time off work or caring responsibilities, less travel and accommodation costs, and less time spent travelling.”

If you need to access health services outside of Circular Head, ask your doctor if your condition is clinically appropriate for telehealth.

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