A new telehealth service will connect Colac Area Health patients with specialist emergency doctors from across Australia and help reduce workforce pressure.
The hospital will launch the My Emergency Dr telehealth service in its urgent care department from next month, enabling 24-seven access to specialist emergency doctors using an iPad video link for consultations.
Colac Area Health district medical director Dr Didir Imran said the telehealth service would further consolidate and augment the hospital’s medical workforce.
“(My Emergency Dr) has provided up to 40,000 consultations around Australia in the past few years,” he said.
“It means that any patient who comes to urgent care can either be seen by a doctor, nurse practitioner or telehealth.
“MED involves emergency specialists on the screen, and they will be reviewing our patient in our urgent care setting,” Dr Imran said.
He said regional GPs could often face unnecessary stress in the urgent care setting and the telehealth service would aim to build the resilience of the medical workforce.
“They are only used as a last resort, in terms of we would much prefer for our doctors to be seeing patients, but we are also cognisant of the workforce pressures that rural health services like ours face,” he said.
See today’s Colac Herald for more.