People who attend urgent-care centres across much of the region will be able to see a doctor without travelling beyond the reach of their district health service as part of a new trial.
Wimmera Health Care Group and West Wimmera Health Service have joined forces for the trial, which is based on a new after-hours video-conferencing system.
Wimmera group clinical services director Don Mcrae said the Wimmera trial would be of huge benefit to urgent-care centres such as Nhill because patients would have greater access to health-care professionals.
“When a person attends after hours and there is no doctor on duty, 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,” he said.
“The patient will either then be admitted, transferred or sent home.”
Mr Mcrae said the program, trialled between 5pm and 10pm, seven days a week, started on Monday.
“We think this program will benefit patients, doctors and nurses and also reduce the burden on Ambulance Victoria,” he said.