Hon Kim Hames MB BS JP MLA

Hon Kim Hames MB BS JP MLA

Former Minister for Health; Tourism

Hon Terry Redman MLA

Hon Terry Redman MLA

Former Minister for Regional Development; Lands; Minister Assisting the Minister for State Development

    Connecting via video saves lives across WA

    23/09/2015 10:30 AM
    • Award-winning WA telehealth service revolutionising emergency care State-wide
    • Emergency Telehealth Service leads the nation in supporting clinical staff in more than 70 sites across WA

    Using high-definition videoconferencing equipment to connect emergency medicine specialists in Perth to doctors and nurses in regional hospitals, Western Australia's Emergency Telehealth Service (ETS) is now available in 72 emergency departments (EDs) across the State.


    Nurses and doctors in these facilities can now access emergency medicine specialists in Perth via video from 8am to 11pm seven days a week and the program is looking to expand.


    Visiting ETS headquarters in Perth today, Health Minister Kim Hames and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman announced the service was now available State-wide, providing regional hospital staff with access to emergency medicine specialists through a 'virtual' ED.


    "Since it was introduced in 2012 as a pilot program in eight Wheatbelt towns, the emergency telehealth service has delivered more than 19,000 consultations and now links to 72 regional EDs, from the Kimberley to the Great Southern," Dr Hames said.


    "If you're working in a country hospital, having access to an emergency specialist in a virtual ED brings a level of experience and expertise that's both reassuring and empowering so it's an incredibly positive step for patients and staff."


    Dr Hames said it was important to highlight that the ETS program, made possible by the State Government's Royalties for Regions Southern Inland Health Initiative and delivered through WA Health, worked in partnership with local GP services in small regional towns and did not replace them.


    "The role of ETS is very specific; it's only used in country hospital EDs for patients who require specialist emergency care and is not a replacement for seeing your GP for non-emergency attention," he said.


    Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the success of the program in the south of the State had paved the way for the service being expanded to more remote locations in the Kimberley and Pilbara.


    "The emergency telehealth service provides specialist support to local regional clinicians, improving delivery times for vital medical intervention," Mr Redman said.


    "The State's ETS model is leading the nation in the provision of emergency medicine in regional and remote hospitals and nursing posts. It was recognised in October last year with a WA Premier's Award for Excellence in the 'Improving Government' category.


    "I'm delighted that Royalties for Regions is strengthening access to quality medical emergency care in regional WA because health is everyone's concern, no matter where you live."


    Fact File

    Health Minister's office - 6552 5300

    Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700