Tough times made easier with telehealth

When Charlotte went through a rough patch with her health, the physical distance from her specialist was the one thing she didn’t have to worry about.

Dr Ruth Bollard in Victoria's Ballarat consults with Charlotte and her GP based in the regional town of Rainbow.

When Charlotte went to her local GP with some unusual symptoms 18 months ago, she was quickly referred to a specialist three-and-a-half hours from her hometown in Victoria's Rainbow.

"Eighteen months ago, I had a lot of pain in my breast, so I was sent for an ultrasound. And they found I had cysts," says Charlotte.

With two young children at home and the added stress of work commitments, Charlotte knew there would be even more challenges if she had to make the seven-hour round trips required for her treatment.

Dr Ruth Bollard in Ballarat first met with Charlotte for an initial examination, but decided that follow-up consultations could be conducted via video conferencing with Charlotte’s local GP.

Soon, seven hours turned into 10 minutes!

"Fast Internet connection is vital for telehealth consults and the nbn™ network is obviously the tool we need," says Dr Bollard

Charlotte says the video sessions were "as good as being with Dr Bollard”, and with her GP and specialist in the one virtual space, they were able to create a treatment plan and next steps.

The issue of distance soon became redundant, as specialist care could be delivered to Charlotte’s home town.

“The benefits for Charlotte is that she can live in a community she wishes to live in and the community can be made bigger and better with specialist healthcare coming to her” says Dr Bollard.

Watch: Find out more about Charlotte's story in the video below: