Pilot program marks milestone in healthcare

MNCLHD Integrated Care Project Officer Adam Ulrick, North Coast Primary Health Network Director System and Service Integration Steve Mann, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of My Emergency Dr (MED) Dr Justin Bowra and Seascape Medical Centre (South West Rocks) General Practitioner Dr Akram Malak

The Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) and North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN) have teamed up with My Emergency Dr (MED), an Australian-owned and operated company, to commence a pilot program at South West Rocks.

This innovative pilot has been developed specifically for the South West Rocks community in collaboration with MNCLHD, MED, NCPHN, local General Practices, Japara Aged Care-South West Rocks and local pharmacies.

The pilot utilises the MED App, which is a video-based smartphone app that allows residents to call an Australian qualified Emergency Specialist Doctor (FACEM) 24/7, 365 days a year for non-life threatening health issues.

The MED Doctors are able to diagnose illnesses, provide prescriptions, requests for pathology and medical imaging and can even provide a discharge summary back to the patient’s GP.

Recent community information sessions about the pilot were well attended by locals.

The pilot commenced on 1 August and aims to reduce the amount of travel for locals with non-life threatening illnesses to hospital and enhance their access to medical advice when access to a regular GP is not available.

“The level of interest in the community is rising and it is encouraging to see so many residents obtaining a referral to use our service” Dr Justin Bowra said.

“It is important to be clear to the community and GPs that we don’t take over the long term care of the patient from their usual GP.

“We are confident that the project will be of very significant benefit to the residents of South West Rocks, and it marks a real milestone in healthcare in this country as well as a terrific example of how different stakeholders can work together to

make a difference for regional and rural Australians,” Dr Bowra said.

The pilot is due for completion at the end of January 2019.