Cows Being Rolled Out Across Tasmania

Cows Being Rolled Out Across Tasmania

Tasmania Minister for Health Michael Ferguson

Telehealth Reducing Travel Time And Costs In Rural Tasmania

Victor P Taffa

More Tasmanians will be able to access their health appointments locally with the rollout of video-enabled Computers on Wheels (CoWs), Minister for Health Michael Ferguson said.

This is part of the Hodgman Government’s commitment to providing the right clinical care in the right place at the right time.

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

As part of the Telehealth Expansion Project, the Tasmanian Government is rolling out 15 units statewide, with 13 now in place and the remaining 2 to be finalised within weeks.

Sites include:

  • Beaconsfield District Hospital;
  • Bruny Island Community Health Centre;
  • Campbell Town Multi-Purpose Centre;
  • Deloraine District Hospital;
  • Flinders Island Multi-Purpose Centre;
  • George Town Hospital and Community Centre;
  • King Island District Hospital and Health Centre;
  • Oatlands Multipurpose Centre;
  • Repatriation Hospital, Hobart;
  • Scottsdale North East Soldiers Memorial Hospital;
  • Smithton District Hospital;
  • St. Mary’s District Facility Hospital;
  • Swansea Community Health Centre;
  • Triabunna Community Health Centre;
  • West Coast District Hospital.

65 new units (cameras and microphones) have also been installed in outpatient clinical consult rooms in the Royal Hobart Hospital, North West Regional Hospital, Launceston General Hospital and Mersey Community Hospital to facilitate the introduction of telehealth as an option.

“In just 2 telehealth appointments, a patient from Smithton has avoided more than 1,600 km and 20 hours travel time to get to their health professional in Hobart.” Minister Ferguson said.

“Another Launceston patient avoided 1,200 km and 15 hours travel time over 3 appointments.”

Video conferencing facilities are already available at many Tasmanian Health Service locations statewide, including outpatient clinics.

Patients who are required to access health services outside their geographical area can ask their doctors if their condition is clinically appropriate for telehealth.

Telehealth Expansion project is an initiative of the Delivering Safe and Sustainable Clinical Services White Paper. It was initiated to improve patient access to health services and reduce costs of transport.