Virtual response to emergency demand

Woman and child on couch looking at tablet computer. | Newsreel
Queenslanders can go online and access virtual emergency healthcare. | Photo: Hispanolistic (iStock)

Queenslanders will have access to virtual emergency care as the government looks to take the pressure off hospital emergency departments.

Premier Steven Miles said $27 million would be spent bolstering virtual care and telehealth services through the Queensland Virtual Hospital.

Premier Miles said at the forefront of the initiative was a Virtual Emergency Care Service.

“This statewide service, which will be staffed by doctors and nurses, means Queenslanders will have access to virtual unplanned and emergency care, providing an alternative to physically attending an emergency department,” he said.

Premier Miles said the Queensland Virtual Hospital was easily accessible via smartphone, tablet or computer or by calling 13 HEALTH.

He said it catered for conditions that required immediate attention but were not life-threatening.

“These could include acute respiratory illnesses, allergic reactions, rashes, bites, pain, infections, burns, children with fevers, gastroenteritis, vertigo and many more.

“Queenslanders can go online and answer a few questions about their symptoms, so they can be provided with information that ensures they can access the appropriate care for their condition and specific needs.”

Premier Miles said this may include seeing a local GP or attending an urgent care clinic or, if appropriate, it would link them to the new Virtual Emergency Care Service.

“This ensures efficient navigation of the healthcare system, recognising that virtual care may not always be suitable for everyone.”

He said the Queensland Telestroke Service would also be integrated into the Queensland Virtual Hospital’s services at the end of the year.

Access the Queensland Virtual Hospital.