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Patients in Barraba, Manilla, and Werris Creek can look forward to specialist follow-up care closer to home with a re-elected Liberal and Nationals Government committing to more than $7 million to establish virtual consultation spaces in every MPS across the state.

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said patients in our smaller communities would have the choice to connect to specialists in major centres more easily after a major health event or major surgery.

“We know that distance in the biggest barrier for regional patients who can’t travel for any reason,” Mr Anderson said.

“This new plan will give patients the choice of having follow-up appointments online at their MPS, meaning they’ll no longer have to travel to a major hospital for a consult.”

Nationals Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said setting up virtual consultation spaces in the MPS meant support was available for patients, both to assist with navigating the technology and to help them plan for further treatments.

“This is about providing choice to our rural and regional patients who may not want to travel outside their community and don’t have access to the necessary technology at home or feel at ease using Telehealth on their own,” Mrs Taylor said.

A re-elected NSW Liberal and Nationals Government will also commence a trial of networked, rural virtual hubs, building on the Government’s commitment to better connect care across the bush.

Mr Anderson said the plan would be a boost to MPS’s in Werris Creek, Barraba and Manilla, giving existing and new staff access to enhanced medical coverage and support staff through remote monitoring, specialist advice, 24/7 General Practitioner care, and better access to patient records.

“We continue to fight for more in-person care by doing everything we can to attract and retain rural health workers,” Mr Anderson added.

“At the same time, we need to add another layer of support in the regions by boosting our access to virtual health care in our smaller towns.”

The Regional Health Inquiry recommended virtual care technology be used to supplement face-to-face services and assist patients effectively engage in virtual care.

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