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Invitation to apply for NBN-Enabled Telehealth Programs



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The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP Minister for Health

Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity

Invitation to Apply for NBN-Enabled Telehealth Programs

4 April 2012

Older Australians, people in need of palliative care and cancer patients are among those set to benefit from new telehealth pilot projects designed to be supported by the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek and Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy today announced an invitation to apply for funding for the NBN-Enabled Telehealth Pilots Program, which will provide up to $20.6 million for innovative telehealth pilots over the next two years.

“Telehealth can solve the tyranny of distance by using technology to bring health services that are sometimes only provided hundreds of kilometres away from the patient’s home right into their living room,” said Ms Plibersek.

“We want patients to get the health care that they need, when they need it and where they need it.

“Imagine a cancer patient in Mandurah, Western Australia, speaking with her oncologist in Perth. She can remain in the comfort of her own home with family and carers, while her specialist collects real time vital statistics such as blood pressure or heart rate via the NBN,” said Minister Plibersek.

Minister Conroy stated: “The delivery of high quality health care direct to the home via NBN-enabled telehealth services will make a real difference to the lives of Australians with high health care needs, particularly those living in regional, rural, remote and outer metropolitan areas.”

“The program also aims to provide coaching and healthy living support in the home to improve overall health outcomes for older Australians or those living with serious illness.

“For example, a person receiving palliative care in Armidale, New South Wales, could discuss symptom management with a palliative care nurse on Monday, equipment or physiotherapy needs with a physiotherapist on Thursday, and seek dietary advice the following week - all from care team members located in Newcastle,” said Minister Conroy.

Applications are encouraged from all interested organisations, including those which specialise in the delivery of telehealth, aged care, cancer care or palliative care services.

To download the invitation to apply and for further information on the pilots program,

follow the links from: http://health.gov.au/ehealth-nbntelehealth

Details on the NBN rollout sites can be found at http://www.nbnco.com.au/

The closing date for all applications is 2.00 pm on Thursday, 17 May 2012.

Minister Plibersek media enquiries: 02 6277 7220 Minister Conroy media enquiries: 02 6277 7480