Senator Helen Polley today reiterated her call for the Abbott Government to initiate a nationwide rollout of Fibre To the Home (FTTH) NBN technology to ensure Tasmanians living in regional areas can access health care.
“Tasmanians living in remote and regional areas often have difficulty accessing health care – Fibre To the Home (FTTH) enabled telehealth solves this problem,” Senator Polley said.
Wynyard resident Tanya Winn currently lives with a cardiac condition and is forced to travel to Burnie or Launceston to access cardiac services.
“I hold concerns for any Tasmanian who is unable to access adequate healthcare, especially when we have the technology and means to provide it,” Senator Polley said.
Telehealth technology may provide health related services and information via telecommunications technologies such as Fibre To the Home (FTTH) NBN, but will be heavily compromised by the Abbott Governments current multi-technology deployment of the NBN.
“If Ms Winn could access telehealth via a FTTH NBN connection she would not be forced to travel for hours to access healthcare in Launceston or Burnie,” Senator Polley said.
The health of older Australians will become increasingly dependent on telehealth technology and therefore it is crucial FTTH NBN is accessible nationwide.
“The government just fails to understand how significant telehealth technology and FTTH NBN is for health care services in the future. We need FTTH NBN technology for efficient and effective service delivery. Currently, there is real doubt about who will and who won’t receive FTTH NBN. Today, I am asking the government to reconsider its position,” Senator Polley said.
Aged-care provider Feros Care predicts that, assuming half of their nurses' visits are done using NBN-enabled telehealth, each nurse would save 7,700kms in travel, 161 hours of travel time, and almost double the number of clients they can see each year.
“Telehealth can provide unparalleled access to health care. Efficient telehealth can mean in certain circumstances patients can monitor their own health care and receive advice from their doctor via a video link. We just need the current Abbott Government to understand this and invest in FTTH NBN nationally, so people such as Tanya Winn in Tasmania can access healthcare from home,” Senator Polley said.