The uptake of telehealth on the North Coast during the COVID-19 crisis has been strong say health authorities.
The uptake of telehealth on the North Coast during the COVID-19 crisis has been strong say health authorities.

Strong take up for telehealth services

NORTH Coast residents have been strong supporters of the move to telehealth during the COVID-19 lockdown say health authorities.

Figures from health clinics across the NSW Mid and North Coast have shown a strong uptake of telehealth phone and video appointments.

Statistics from North Coast Primary Health Network show 85 per cent of 101 GP clinics surveyed said they are now offering either phone or video appointments.

The majority of these telehealth adopters (87 per cent) were focused on phone appointments. The remainder (13 per cent) were using both phone and video appointments.

All clinics were still offering face-to-face appointments – and this was still the main form of appointment for 15 per cent. Other clinics said they had moved to a 50-50 telehealth and face-to-face mix.

“While some GPs (15 per cent) are not yet offering video appointments, we are keen to work closely with them to help resolve any barriers,” said health network chief executive Julie Sturgess.

“We continue to provide ongoing support to health professionals who are already offering video appointments, including allied health practitioners.”

Ms Sturgess said there were new developments in patient care in the wings.

“Real-time video is the next exciting step in interactive patient appointments, and we are pleased to offer this hands-on support at no cost,” she said.

“Our Digital Health team has a lot of experience in implementing the healthdirectVideo Call platform and can identify and resolve most issues.”

Since mid-March, NCPHN has supported 135 health services from Port Macquarie to Tweed Heads to set up video appointments.

So far 2,484 video appointments have been conducted via the platform, with mental health services being among the most enthusiastic adopters.

“This is a great success story and a win-win for health professionals and their patients,” Ms Sturgess said.

For more information or to get help to set up healthdirect video call appointments, visit:

or email.



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