The National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA), represented by Dr Jenny May, attended a rural health consultation hosted by Telstra Health in Brisbane on 21 April 2015. Other organisations represented at the meeting included the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, GP Assist, the Royal College of GPs, Royal Flying Doctor Service, Rural Doctors Association of Australia, Health Workforce Australia, members of the Telstra Health Advisory Panel, and the Telstra Health team.
Telstra Health provided an overview of their reasons for entering the telemedicine arena. The meeting then discussed the important issues affecting the integration of telemedicine into primary health care in rural and remote areas. The areas of discussion centred on:
- Rural health issues, experiences with using technology and how can technology be used to help.
- The capacities Telstra Health is developing to support health service delivery via telehealth.
- Areas of mutual interest where Telstra Health's capacities be used to support rural health.
From the vast experience and knowledge of rural health in the room, many interesting comments and questions were raised. A vigorous discussion ensued around ‘What is quality care?’ in the context of telemedicine and its transformation. The Alliance thanks Telstra Health for the invitation, and we look forward to being a part of the conversation in this rapidly changing area of service provision.