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Transcript 19362

Transcript Of Remarks At Launch Of Anywhere Healthcare

Photo of Gillard, Julia

Gillard, Julia

Period of Service: 24/06/2010 to 27/06/2013

More information about Gillard, Julia on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 17/05/2013

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 19362

Hobart

PM: Thank you very much to Leanne for that introduction. Can I start by acknowledging my ministerial colleague Julie Collins, who is also the Member for Franklin.

So it is good to be with you and it is also good to be with my old friend Michelle O'Byrne. Not so old, long-time friend I should have said in her capacity as Minister for Health.

In many ways I do not think I could tell the story of what we are trying to achieve here better than the video presentation you have just seen.

It is telling us the story of how we are working to put people in regional and remote locations together with the medical help that they need because we do not want any Australian, no matter where they live in this great country of ours to miss out on the best of medical care.

What we want to do to achieve that is to combine a number of government policies.

None of them more important than the National Broadband Network, I've been assured by Julie that the NBN is just down the end of the street coming here very soon.

Already around 200,000 homes, small businesses, hospitals and schools have construction of the fibre network, commenced or complete in their areas.

We are already seeing the fruits of this; schools linked up to the rest of the world, small businesses in Tasmania linked up to international markets and now we are seeing the power of this technology as it links people up for healthcare.

So I'm very pleased to be here to announce a further step with Medibank Private launching their Anywhere HealthCare virtual clinic right here in Tasmania.

No better place to do that launch than here at Clarence GP Super Clinic - a $5.5 million investment from our government and in very good use.

We've met some of the patients today who are here for all sorts of things including good things like getting ready to go on holidays, those vitally needed jabs before you go.

Providing Medicare funded GP services, practice nurses, psychological and counselling services, all of that is done from this Super Clinic and so I am very pleased to be here and I know it is making a very real difference to people's lives.

So what is the next step? Well the next step you have just seen exhibited in this video is Medibank Private's Anywhere HealthCare virtual clinic.

So you can get in contact with the specialist you need with no out of pocket expenses and with reduced referral times.

It means that around the country for people who cannot in their local community see an expert in paediatric care, in psychiatry, in dermatology, many of the specialties that people do need during the course of their lives.

Those people will be able to make a link with those specialists.

That will be removing barriers to care because it is not just about alleviating the journey for people saying ‘well you can get healthcare where you are and you don't have to make a journey to another location.'

We unfortunately know that if a journey is required many people will go without.

They will go without the healthcare services that they need, with all of the costs that that then has for their own personal health.

But it is just too difficult for them to make the journey, take the time away from family, time away from their local community.

We as a government want to play our part in this and what we can do is make sure that Medicare is there.

Our great Medicare system providing the rebates that people need and the rebates across the new technology, so the rebates for telehealth services.

We have made that available and the growth is there to see.

This is going to be such an important way of delivering healthcare in the future.

We have seen over 77,000 telehealth services provided through Medicare by more than 7,700 practitioners to over 33,000 patients.

So already solid footing but much more to do.

Thank you to Medibank for enabling this great new stage and it is a great pleasure for me to be here and have the honour of officially launching it today.

Thank you very much.

Transcript 19362