Sarah Courtney,Minister for Health
The health, wellbeing and safety of Tasmanians continues to be the Government’s number one priority during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the innovative ways we are delivering more care, more safely and more effectively is through telehealth.
Telehealth is all about caring for our patients in a way that suits them – saving our patients’ time, keeping them safe and improving access to services in our rural and regional areas.
Community members are able to attend facilities, just like the North East Soldiers Memorial Hospital, and to have their outpatient appointment.
From March to June 2020 there has been an incredible 1200 per cent increase in the delivery of telehealth appointments statewide.
This enormous growth has resulted in:
- 369,000 kilometres of patient travel saved;
- 4,488 hours of travel time saved for patients; and
- 34 flights intra and interstate saved.
Telehealth also allows for clinical services from the LGH to be delivered to inpatients in the hospital, and for community nurses to undertake clinical reviews for patients in their home.
This is why we significantly increased our telehealth capability across the state at the start of COVID-19, with 20 virtual rooms expanded to accommodate around 5000 virtual appointments.
We now have an unprecedented level of telehealth capacity in our system – enabling up to 500 connections at any one time.
This is a huge achievement for our hardworking staff who pulled together these services so quickly, and I thank the Tasmanian community and our health services for embracing this innovative service delivery.