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Regional communities demand doctors following horror telehealth death

Outrage over telehealth services in regional NSW has erupted after a woman bled to death in an emergency department with no doctor physically present.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the death of 66-year-old Dawn Trevitt at Gulgong Hospital, where face-to-face doctors were replaced with treatment via videolink outside business hours.

Rural Doctors Association of Australia CEO Peta Rutherford told Deborah Knight telehealth care “should never be about replacement care, it should be … supplementary”.

Recruitment and retention in rural and regional areas, she said, will require more incentives such as the federal government’s National Rural Generalist Pathway.

“Australia is producing a sufficient number of medical graduates.

“We need to get … recognition of rural generalist medicine so it is valued and respected, not just within those rural communities, but also our city sub-specialists.”

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