Pilot Program Brings Telehealth to South West Rocks

Centre Partners North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN) and the Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) have partnered with telehealth provider My Emergency Dr (MED) to run a pilot program in South West Rocks. Available online 24/7 via video based app, MED allows for video consultation with a specialist emergency doctor within minutes.

The pilot was launched after Healthy Towns consultations with both community and GP’s in South West Rocks highlighted a need for additional after hours medical support. The pilot aims to reduce the need to travel to the hospital emergency department when locals are unable to access their regular GP after hours.

How My Emergency Dr works

The MED app allows residents to call an Australian qualified emergency specialist doctor at any time of day or night 365 days a year. The MED doctors are able to diagnose illnesses, provide prescriptions, order X-rays, request for pathology and medical imaging, or send them straight to the emergency department when needed. They can even provide a discharge summary back to the patient’s GP.

Emergency doctors are some of the most senior doctors working in hospital emergency departments and each are Fellows of the Australiasian College for Emergency Medicine. Doctors can make rapid yet accurate assessments, assessing the situation via the built-in video on a person’s smartphone or tablet.

Common conditions treated include:

  • Headache/concussion
  • Abdominal pain
  • Back pain
  • Diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Fever/sore throat/cough
  • Rashes, bites and stings
  • Allergic reactions
  • Sports injuries
  • Work injuries

Supporting GPs

The MED app is a telehealth service only, and not designed to replace the GP. It’s there for people when their primary healthcare provider is unavailable, therefore a great fit for regional and rural areas like South West Rocks who have limited access to after hours care.

“Telehealth services such as My Emergency Dr have the potential to improve health outcomes for regional and rural Australians,” said Steve Mann, NCPHN’s Director of Systems and Service Integration, Mid North Coast.

“We’re excited to be bringing this pilot to the Mid North Coast”.

Every assessment is completed with a follow-up letter which users of the service can take to their GP.

What’s next for South West Rocks?

A Health and Community Transport working group will be established in early 2019 with a plan to brainstorm solutions to key transport concerns for South West Rocks residents.

Contact Larah Kennedy on 0429 058 954 or lkennedy@ncphn.org.au if you would like to be more involved in Healthy Towns in South West Rocks.

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