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



Local Partners

Conner's food distraction leads to elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Conner Bethune.

HUNGER gets to castaway as Australian Survivor's tribes merge.

Bonus point gets Dan and Carleen over the line on The Block

Dan and Carleen in their winning living and dining rooms in a scene from The Block.

BABY boomers win living and dining week as show hits halfway mark.

Olivia Wilde having a girl

Olivia Wilde revealed she is expecting a baby girl.

Michael Palin: Terry Jones dementia is 'painful' to see

Michael Palin has found Terry Jones' decline "painful to watch"

Daniel Radcliffe hoped for haircut anonymity

Radcliffe thought shaving his head would make him more anonymous

Jim Carrey slams 'shameful greed' of lawsuit

Jim Carrey has slammed the "shameful greed" of White's ex-husband.

Developers boost confidence in Bundaberg property market

Slow and steady growth has always been Bundaberg’s way

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state