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Wimmera Health Care Group’s Intensive Care Unit will soon be able to link from Horsham via telehealth to a critical care specialist at Melbourne’s Alfred Health.

Taking part in the Critical Care Telehealth Project is another way for Wimmera residents to be able to receive metropolitan level care without leaving their loved ones.

Mildura Base Hospital implemented the Critical Care Telehealth Project in 2017, which used telehealth to manage certain patients locally at Mildura ICU through support from the intensivists at the Alfred Hospital.

Following Mildura’s success, Safer Care Victoria are now supporting other services to get involved, including Wimmera Health Care Group. Wimmera Health Care Group are one of three regional areas trialling this telehealth model.

Wimmera Health Care Group director for medical services Professor Alan Wolff said the project was another leap forward in rural health care.

“Through telehealth, our doctors can review the care of ICU patients with intensivists in Melbourne. This allows for a broader range of patients to be treated here in our ICU and not transferred to Melbourne away from their home and support networks,” Prof Wolff said.

“A camera is set up and the intensivist in Melbourne can see the patient, hear the patient and even talk to them.”

Wimmera Health Care Group’s critical care telehealth project officer Carmel McFarlane said project members from Mildura Base Hospital and Alfred Health recently paid a visit to the Wimmera Intensive Care Unit.

“They came to Wimmera Health Care Group to meet the team in preparation for starting consults,” Ms McFarlane said.

 “They were happy with what we have in place and excited as we are about this project coming to life.”

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