28.10.2019 14:53 Age: 1 year

Telehealth allows Pilbara patients to stay close to home while receiving treatment

Pilbara resident Robert Daly stays close to home and work while attending outpatient appointments via telehealth.

Pilbara resident Robert Daly is a telehealth veteran, saving himself from travelling long distances by attending his outpatient appointments via videoconference.

This week is Telehealth Awareness Week (25 – 31 October 2019), shining the spotlight on how digital technology is helping country people access specialist and multi-disciplinary care closer to home.

“I work in Karijini so I already travel an hour to have my telehealth appointment in Tom Price,” Mr Daly said.

“If I was to travel the six hours to get to Karratha, I’d need to take at least two days off work.”

Mr Daly discussed the option to attend his outpatient appointments via telehealth with his specialist.

“I’m new to WA but I’ve had many telehealth appointments in the Northern Territory, that’s why I asked my specialist if it was possible,” he said.

“I really like telehealth as I can get the necessary medical information across without having to travel and it saves me time and money.”

WA Country Health Service Executive Director Robyn Sermon said telehealth benefits tens of thousands of patients across country WA every year and is making a real difference to regional people.

“Telehealth enables access to a wide range of health services that are readily available in the city, to people living in rural and remote WA,” Ms Sermon said.

“WA Country Health Service is a global leader in the provision of digitally enabled health services and the use of telehealth continues to benefit regional residents by reducing the need for travel, saving valuable time away from family and giving access to some of the best specialists in the state.”

In Western Australia, telehealth technology delivers a range of services including specialist emergency support to staff in country hospitals treating acute emergency patients, including those presenting with mental health concerns; inpatient consults through a virtual ward round; outpatient consults with specialists, as well as training and education for health staff and consumers.  

People can check with their health professional to see if a telehealth appointment is appropriate for them. To find out more about telehealth visit the Healthy WA website.