- This week is Telehealth Awareness Week (June 25-29)
- Country patients are encouraged to ask their specialists if they can use telehealth for their next appointment
- In 2017, telehealth saved WA country patients from travelling 27.3 million kilometres - to the moon and back about 35 times
Investment in technology over the past year has added 600 telehealth-enabled consult rooms, enabling thousands of more patients to access specialist care from regional locations.
During Telehealth Awareness Week, people are encouraged to ask their specialist if they can have their appointments at their local health service, rather than travelling to Perth.
In 2017, more than 18,000 country patients had their specialist outpatient appointments using videoconferencing equipment as part of the telehealth network - an average of 350 consults per week.
As new hospitals are being built across the State they are being equipped with telehealth points - with 300 telehealth locations at Perth Children's Hospital alone.
More than 30 outpatient specialties are delivered via telehealth for country people. The top five in 2017 were plastic surgery, respiratory medicine, haematology, orthopaedics and gastroenterology.
Health services delivered by telehealth include emergency care, cancer treatment, palliative care, mental health, stroke care, surgical follow-up, wound care, and education for chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma.
As well as investing in health infrastructure, the Western Australian Government is also investing in innovative clinical service development so that health care reaches those who need it the most.
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"It is important that patients can stay in their community, close to family and friends as much as possible when receiving health care.
"It is fantastic to see that telehealth, which enables people to stay closer to their communities, is becoming 'business as usual' for our health system.
"The Government is committed to delivering sustainable health care to people right across Western Australia, and this includes delivering health services close to where people live.
"The network of country and metropolitan telehealth-enabled services will continue to expand over the coming year, offering a broad range of health care to both metropolitan and country patients.
"This will further our efforts to bring health care closer to home for patients across WA."
Minister's office - 6552 6500