Telehealth in Western Australia

A recent ‘Short Communication‘ to the Rural and Remote Health Journal looked at the results of a very small survey to determine what telehealth needs were most required out bush.

The survey looked at the views of health managers and physicians working in non-metropolitan areas of Western Australia as to what the telehealth priorities were.

While the order of the first four health priorities was different, both groups had the same collective priorities.

Health managers wanted telehealth services (in priority order) for wound care, emergency, psychiatry and ophthalmology. Doctors wanted telehealth mainly for psychiatry (35%), wound care, emergency and ophthalmology.

To have a better sample size I see no reason why remote health services could not have been included. Telehealth is even more important in these areas where in some areas patients can be away for at least a week just to attend a specialist appointment.

In my belief the needs would have been the same, particularly mental health as mental illness is the second largest cause of illness in remote areas of Australia

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