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The role of community co-design in the delivery of high quality and effective Telehealth care

The Healthy Communities Foundation Australia CEO, Mark Burdack, spoke to health industry leaders and policy makers today at the National Telehealth Conference in Sydney about the critical importance of community engagement in the design of Telehealth services in rural and remote communities.

He said: “If the goal of Telehealth is to improve access, then we need to listen to communities to understand their needs and the barriers that they think might arise.

“When health providers tell rural people that Telehealth is great because it “will save you travelling 600km for a doctor’s appointment” what rural people often hear is “this will save the health service from travelling 600km to deliver me equitable access to healthcare”.

“Rural people don’t look at things in terms of individual benefits alone. They want to know how this will affect the local economy, local health and community service, access for marginalised groups and so forth.

“Telehealth is critical to the future of healthcare in rural communities. That means we need to get the process of community engagement right by spending more time listening and learning. We need to promote individual benefits of Telehealth and the needs of the whole community” said Mr Burdack.


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