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Wimmera Health Care Group is partnering with West Wimmera Health Service to trial a program to help people who attend urgent care centres in the region see a doctor without travelling beyond their local health service.

Director of clinical services Don McRae said the trial would use the innovative new afterhours care system using video conferencing would work across the Wimmera.

“This will be a huge benefit to urgent care centres such as Nhill because their patients will have greater access to health care professionals,” Mr McRae said.

“When a person attends afterhours and there is no doctor on, a nurse will assess them and if they need to see a doctor, will connect the person via telehealth with one in the Horsham Emergency Department.

“The patient will either then be admitted, transferred or sent home.”

Mr McRae said the program is being trialed between the hours of 5-10pm, seven days a week, starting Monday February 12.

“We think this program will benefit patients, doctors, nurses and also reduce the burden on Ambulance Victoria who occasionally had to transfer patients to Horsham, when they could have been assessed via telehealth.”

If the program is successful, it will be expanded to other urgent care centres across the Wimmera.

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