News

Rural telehealth services to assist patients 'enormously'

 Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg
Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg

EXPANDED bush telehealth services are being hailed as possible saviours for rural hospitals, such as Moura or Eidsvold, at risk of closure.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg would not reveal where the other four trial sites for the Rural Telehealth Service would be created this year but suggested the other sites would be set through engaging with health boards in those areas.

He said the service would transport remote patients into the most advanced hospitals in the state through technology.

Telehealth trials at Hervey Bay and Mackay have diagnosed hearing problems in newborn babies.

Specialists have interpreted x-rays taken at remote locations from thousands of kilometres away.

"What we want to do is support more of our local doctors and nurses in facilities such as Moura so they feel comfortable and competent in being able to respond to paediatric incidents, incidents where someone has broken an arm or a leg or a cardiac emergency," he said.

"It will actually assist enormously in our ability to keep our hospitals in places such as Moura.

"We have lot of rural hospitals that have a large number of beds (serviced on a very costly basis) that are not being used and city hospitals close to 100% occupancy.

"It leads to these sorts of responses where people talk about closures, it's not about closures, it's about keeping local hospitals open."

Mr Springborg said the previous investment in telehealth had centred around specialist appointments to reduce travelling time between rural towns and large regional centres or metropolitan services.

He said that was important but it was also about helping rural doctors feel confident in an emergency instead of flying someone out.

"If you can actually beam back to the emergency department that's in that local hospital and health area where they were likely to be admitted, say Rockhampton or even a bigger metropolitan hospital, then they will feel confident they are responding more capably to that particular emergency," he said.

"But it will also have benefits in other areas such as pre-admission appointments where an enormous amount of time is actually spent by the people actually travelling to see a specialist for five minutes only to actually to turn around and drive back home.

"It can overcome the tyranny of distance and actually support the retention of an emergency department and an inpatient facility in a place like Moura."

Topics:  hospitals, lawrence springborg, telehealth




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Five key election issues for sugar region economies

Healthy looking sugarcane at Goodwood Rd, Goodwood. Photo Brittany Cook / Isis Town & Country

Canegrowers are urging politicla parties to commit to future growth.

Trailer Tests with Tim and Tabitha

Rider Tim and trusty pony Tabitha were first to test new trailer.

Help us keep workplaces fair

Financial Planning - Couple getting consulted

Fair Work ombudsman Natalie James appealed to the community for help

Latest deals and offers

Health Concerns

HEALTH CONCERNS: Edenbrook Estate residents are concerned about the proposed development of a Windrow Composting Facility at Kay McDuff Drive Norville. Craig Brooks, Jodie Brooks, Keith Mansfield, Ron Geyer, Na Geyer, Clinton Church, Robert Astill, June Lavander, Leah Whaleboat, Joe Galea, Andrea Astill, Maureen Cox and Larry Cox. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail

HEALTH CONCERNS: Edenbrook Estate residents are concerned about the proposed...

Dos and don'ts of dog attacks

A video showing what to do and what not to do when confronted by an angry or...

Barnaby Joyce talks Johnny Depp's dogs in Tweed

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce talks about Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo...

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked