TeleHealth Turns 750,000 square kms into a 'local' oncology practice

Cancer patients in Queensland's vast northern region used to travel up to 1,000 kms and be away for days to see their oncologist in Townsville. Today, they visit their local GP hospital or clinic and their oncologist is 'beamed' out to them. The success of turning 18 communities spread over 750,000 square kms into a single oncology practice was achieved in just two years. Driving it was the team at the Townsville Cancer Centre lead by the director of medical oncology, Associate Professor Sabe Sabesan, pictured.

"We started with a telehealth service to patients at the Mt Isa hospital in 2007," Dr Sabesan explains. "Before that, patients had to fly to Townsville, which meant they could be away for days just for a 10-minute appointment. It's expensive and disruptive."

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