E-health - Broadband and electronic communications, telehealth
The Alliance wants to see preferential investment in e-health capacity and implementation in rural and remote communities as part of addressing current inequities in health care. This will require specific plans to meet the electronic information and communication needs of even the most remote Australians in order that they can benefit.
The Alliance also advocates timely implementation of the National Broadband Network with a focus on improving health care for all Australians and including alternative technologies to provide equivalent access to small communities.
Our plan is to use this page to alert you to progress on broadband and electronic communications including telehealth, either through media releases or links to Government sites with relevant information about this ongoing process.
Current progress and activities:
- Ongoing: The NBN Co Discovery Truck is travelling around the country to provide free information sessions and demonstrations for anyone who is interested in finding out more about the NBN - see information, bookings and list of sessions including rural and regional centres.
- 8 June 2012: Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) launches a free, online directory of general practices and specialists equipped for telehealth video consultations to help GPs find a specialist in one of 60 disciplines - from addiction medicine to vascular surgery - to whom they can refer their patients.
- 22 January 2012: Health Minister and Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy announced NBN Enabled Telehealth Pilots Program to deliver in-home telehealth services to older Australians, people living with cancer and those requiring palliative care in rollout areas for the National Broadband Network (NBN).
- October 2011: The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine e-health website has been established to support clinicians, administrators and rural health support teams with practical resources, timely content, and advice regarding rational use of TeleHealth. http://www.ehealth.acrrm.org.au/
- August 2011: The RACGP developed telehealth resources to assist general practices with implementing and managing video consultations including implementation guidelines for video consultations including implementation guidelines for videoconsultations in general practice http://www.racgp.org.au/telehealth
- 6 June 2011: Medicare funded medical specialist video-consultations for patients in rural, regional and outer metropolitan areas from 1 July 2011. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/mr-yr11-nr-nr116.htm
- 31 May 2011: National Digital Economy Strategy – improving health and aged care is one of the eight goals for using the National Broadband Network to drive Australia’s digital productivity. Government Initiatives include new telehealth trials and Medicare items for telehealth services. The new Digital Enterprises program provides support for small to medium businesses and not for profit organisations to engage online.
- 4 March 2011. The Alliance appeared before the House of Representatives Standing Committee inquiry into the role and potential of the National Broadband Network.
Alliance submission: http://nrha.ruralhealth.org.au/cms/uploads/publications/nrha-submission-to-nbn-inquiry.pdf
- 25 November 2010: Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy announces introduction of two Bills into Parliament that set out the regulatory framework for the National Broadband Network (NBN). http://www.minister.dbcde.gov.au/media/media_releases/2010/101
- Broadband: Top priority for regional development and Health. NRHA media release, 6 October 2010
- 29 September 2010: Government commits to every community in Regional Australian getting fair and equal access to affordable high-speed broadband through the National Broadband Network. Page 6, agreement between the ALP and Independent members http://www.tonywindsor.com.au/releases/AgreementToFormGovt.pdf
- The Alliance prioritises equal access to affordable, high-speed broadband for country people with the three country Independents as the outcome of the 2010 Federal election is being decided. ABC Four Corners: The Deal (to air 4 October 2010)
- 20 June 2010 NBN Co and Telstra announced they had entered an agreement on the rollout of the National Broadband Network. http://www.dbcde.gov.au/broadband/national_broadband_network
- The National Broadband Network is being implemented through the Australian Government Department for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. http://www.dbcde.gov.au/broadband
- The ‘Realising our broadband future’ forum was held on 10 -11 December 2009 and you can watch and listen at: http://www.broadbandfuture.gov.au
- Investment needed to bring e-health benefits to remote Australia (NRHA media release, July 2009)
- Priority Recommendation 3 of the 10th National Rural Health Conference in May 2009
- Good news on broadband: but don’t forget the 3 per cent (NRHA media release, April 2009)