Boosting Telehealth services

Sarah Courtney,Minister for Health

The Tasmanian Government’s number one priority is to keep Tasmanians safe and secure during these unprecedented times.

To ensure we can deliver more care in the safest possible way, the Launceston General Hospital has moved its specialists clinic (outpatients) to the Northern Integrated Care Service building and is going to be delivering many services via telehealth.

This is in keeping with community-wide coronavirus social distancing guidelines aimed at protecting patients, clinicians and clinic staff.

Importantly, this move still allows our clinics to remain within the LGH precinct but outside the main hospital building.

Right across the state we are significantly increasing our Telehealth capability, with 20 virtual rooms having been expanded to now accommodate up to 5000 virtual appointment bookings.

This means there will be 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 to have pulled together these services so quickly.

These telehealth services are being facilitated by a secure connection service, to guarantee patient privacy is protected.

The number of face-to-face consultations onsite at the LGH has been reduced, and consultation and waiting rooms reconfigured. Only urgent patients will be seen in the clinic, and only in cases where arrangements for telehealth or telephone consultations can’t be organised or are not clinically appropriate.

This is all about increasing our ability to ensure unnecessary visits to hospital are avoided where possible, and to help maintain healthcare for our community while isolating.

We know this is an extremely tough time for the community, but Tasmanians can be assured we will continue to do whatever it takes to stop the spread of coronavirus in Tasmania.

We are boosting our services and delivering the infrastructure our health professionals need to deliver safe care.

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