Telemedicine should not replace local services

Tuesday, 3 October 2023
Telehealth chat on laptop with patient

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) telemedicine services are useful if they add to existing locally delivered services, Chief Executive of the Alliance Susi Tegen told InSight+ publication of the Medical Journal of Australia.

“There’s an affordability aspect [to DTC] because many people in rural, regional and remote Australia have to travel further if the service doesn’t exist nearby, for specialist services in particular,” Ms Tegen said.

However, she expressed concern that some telemedicine services are replacing those that already exist locally.

“What concerns me the most is that it’s not building the capacity of the people we have and that we are training in the future,” Ms Tegen said, adding that services need to be coordinated.

“It should be a multidisciplinary model, not a one-off model where we can take part of the system out because it suits us to make a profit. Rural communities deserve better care,” she added.

Read the article here.

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