ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Health Katy Gallagher MLA and NSW Minister for Health Jillian Skinner today visited the Southcare Helicopter Base at Hume to view new 'telehealth' technology linking regional emergency departments with the Canberra Hospital emergency department and helicopter base.
The pilot project provides a video link to assist with clinical consultations for critically ill patients. The Australian Government has provided $2.337 million funding for the 'Improving Critical Care Outreach and Training in the ACT and South East NSW' project, being developed collaboratively by the ACT Health Directorate, Southern NSW Local Health District and NSW Ministry of Health.
"The helicopter is a fast way to get emergency medical expertise from Canberra to regional patients in need - this technology is even faster. It allows remote clinical consultations for critically ill patients in rural emergency departments and means lifesaving decisions can be made quickly," the Chief Minister said.
The system uses existing videoconferencing platforms connected through the Health Department network. It uses overbed cameras, microphones and speakers in one resuscitation bed in each of the Emergency Departments in the selected Southern NSW sites to transmit images and vital signs to the referral or hub site in the ACT.
"Canberra is a regional centre and people in our region aren't interested in lines on a map, they just want quality health care. This program is another example of regional collaboration and demonstrates the benefits to people in the region when the ACT, New South Wales and the Commonwealth work together," the Chief Minister added.
The audio visual technology is similar to systems which will be used in Northern NSW and the NETS/Vision for Life project.
The ACT sites act as hub sites with four pilot spoke sites in Southern NSW and the pilot will commence at Queanbeyan, Moruya, Batemans Bay and Cooma. The pilot will run for six months and will be evaluated prior to further roll out to more sites.
"This pilot program will potentially have a huge impact on emergency care throughout the region," the Chief Minister concluded.
- Statement ends -
Section: Katy Gallagher, MLA | Media Releases