Telehealth appointments have revolutionised access to health care in all of Australia, a right that every person living on this beautiful land should have. But, for a long time, this was not the case. It has always been hard for people living in remote and regional Australia to find access to healthcare, with many people having to commute for hours just to speak with a doctor.
Improved preventative care
The saying “prevention is better than cure” has stood the test of time, and now, with the availability of telehealth appointments, it’s making a big difference in how healthcare works. Instead of waiting for weeks or even months to see a doctor, people can now easily connect with medical professionals online. This change is doing a lot of good things, like helping with early care, quick diagnoses, better illness management, keeping an eye on patients after surgery, and making it easy to get electronic scripts.
This shift to telehealth is changing the healthcare game in many positive ways. It’s not just about being more convenient—it’s changing the whole approach to taking care of ourselves. Instead of waiting for health issues to become big problems, we can talk to doctors early on and get the help we need.
Extended life expectancy
For a long time, people living in far-off and rural parts of Australia have had shorter lifespans than those in cities. This is mainly because it’s been harder to get medical help when needed. But now, with the introduction of telehealth appointments, things are changing for the better. Because of telehealth, people in remote areas now have a better chance at a longer life. They can get medical help sooner, which means problems are caught before they become too big. This also helps them get the right treatment faster. And even after getting better, they can still chat with doctors through telehealth, making sure they stay on the right track.
Back before telehealth appointments became a thing, patients used to have emergency consultations over the phone. However, they still had to make the journey to see someone in person because just hearing their voice wasn’t enough for a proper diagnosis. But today, thanks to the inclusion of video, a lot has improved. Patients can now have face-to-face conversations with doctors through video calls, all from the comfort of their homes. While there are times when a physical check-up is necessary, this virtual interaction serves as a good first step.
Imagine the stress of having to travel far for a doctor’s appointment every time you needed to talk to a doctor. When you’re not feeling well, this is the last thing you need on top of also being sick. And for many, this meant having to arrange transport each time or spending hours on public transport. While seeing a doctor in person is sometimes necessary, there are many times when a simple telehealth appointment can suffice. Telehealth removed that barrier of travel, allowing quicker decision-making and treatment administration.
Telehealth appointments save money for patients and the healthcare industry. A report from the Lions Eye Institute found that using telehealth in Western Australia could save up to $270,000 each year in patient transfer costs to the city. It could also treat 786 patients from rural clinics annually, saving $83 per patient.
Also, by diagnosing and managing illnesses earlier, telehealth could lower the need for hospital stays. This would ease the financial burden on the healthcare system.
We’ve come a long way, but there’s still more to achieve. Telehealth appointments are a great addition, but they require extra staff and a good internet connection. One of the reasons it took so long for remote areas to get telehealth was the poor internet connection. Luckily, things are changing. People across Australia are getting attention, not just in big cities, and telehealth appointments are finally giving people in far-off places the care they need.
Looking ahead, we hope for a better internet all over Australia. It would also be great to see more medical facilities offering telehealth appointments. This way, more people can benefit from this new way of getting medical help.
Online telehealth services like 13 Doctor can assist in navigating symptoms and provide access to a medical professional from the comfort of your own home. With appointments available seven days a week, making a conscious effort to stay on top of your health has never been easier. Contact us today.