- Specialist emergency health care by telehealth now available around-the-clock supporting patient care in rural and remote WA
- 24/7 service starts in time for busy summer holiday period
Western Australia's innovative virtual emergency department has expanded to a 24/7 service, just in time for the summer holidays.
The WA Country Health Service's Emergency Telehealth Service (ETS) - increasingly seen nationally and internationally as a model for virtual emergency health care - is now available around-the-clock from its 78 rural and remote locations.
The service acts like a virtual emergency department, with specialist emergency medicine doctors available by video call to support local doctors and nurses in providing high-quality emergency care.
People living in or travelling to these small communities across the State will be able to access care locally and, in the event of an emergency, have access to support from expert clinicians in Perth when required.
The ETS started in 2012 to support doctors and nurses to provide emergency care in nursing posts and small hospitals in rural and remote locations.
It is available across the State and has supported more than 58,000 emergency cases since it began, and now deals with about 300 cases a week.
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"This is about putting patients first. In about 75 per cent of cases, patients can be treated at the ETS site, which means they don't have to be transferred to a more distant hospital with a traditional emergency department.
"When you consider that every minute counts in an emergency, expanding the service to 24/7 will make a big difference to outcomes for emergency patients in these remote locations.
"The award-winning service has revolutionised the way emergency care is delivered in small country hospitals and nursing posts, and is gaining national and international recognition as a leader in the provision of emergency medicine via telehealth."
Minister's office - 6552 6500