Telehealth will happen: Crawford

Northern NSW Local Health District Chief Executive Chris Crawford.
Northern NSW Local Health District Chief Executive Chris Crawford. Jay Cronan

A PLAN to replace a doctor with a video-link at Mullumbimby Hospital may be dead, but Northern Rivers health boss Chris Crawford says telehealth will still ultimately find its way into Northern Rivers hospitals.

The Northern Star last night reported the Northern NSW Local Health District Board had, on the advice of Mr Crawford, voted to dump a controversial telehealth trial for Mullumbimby that would have meant dropping the hospital's overnight doctor position.

Mr Crawford has told ABC Radio this morning telehealth technology was already being used to connect doctors in hospitals on the North Coast and, in time, that would allow nurses to provide treatment prescribed by doctors in other facilities.

"Nurses are always getting higher levels in the care that they can provide," he said.

"I eventually do believe it will be done on a doctor to nurse basis. It's already in a hundred hospitals throughout NSW ... so we're not at the very first step in this process."

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