CENTRAL Gippsland Health Service will be among hospitals participating in a new direct video link to improve paediatric care.
Doctors will be able to link to experts in paediatric care through telehealth technology at the newly- opened Monash Children’s Hospital.
Officially launched last week, the new Monash Children’s Telesurgery Project uses the latest cutting edge telehealth technology to improve patient care.
Participating hospitals are Central Gippsland Health Service, Latrobe Regional Hospital and Bairnsdale Regional Health Service.
A CGHS spokesperson said they hoped the telelink equipment would be installed within the next few weeks.
Once up and running, it will establish a direct and live video link from Monash Children’s Hospital to regional operating theatres and emergency departments, enabling Gippsland doctors to quickly get online advice and support from Monash’s paediatric surgeons.
The state government said the aim was to deliver faster diagnoses and support better intraoperative decision-making for complex surgical paediatric cases.
It also hoped it would will free up ambulances by reducing avoidable patient transfers to Melbourne and reducing travel time and costs for families.
Eastern Victoria MLC Harriet Shing the technology would ensure Gippsland children access the best care, without having to endure long trips and time away from family and friends.
Gippsland doctors will also be able to use the technology for professional development, as they will be able to view surgeries at Monash Children’s Hospital in real time and join face-to-face seminars.
The state government also hopes the initiative will help with attracting and retaining skilled doctors in Gippsland.
The project is supported by a philanthropic gift from the Percy Baxter Charitable Trust, managed by Perpetual, and $500,000 from the state government.
It will be delivered from the new Monash Children’s Surgical Telehealth Centre, at the hospital’s surgical simulation centre and operating suites.
The world class $250 million Monash Children’s Hospital opened its doors last month, and began treating babies, children and adolescents needing specialist care in modern, purpose-built facilities.
A new $3.8 million helipad on the hospital rooftop will enable Gippsland children facing life-threatening emergencies to be transferred to hospital more quickly, while $63.2 million will go towards expanding the Monash Medical Centre emergency department, with an exclusive area just for children.