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MEDIA RELEASE - 18/09/2014

"Dementia supplement cut hurting South Australian Aged Care facilities"

Read the media release here


Dear Minister Turnbull,

We are writing to outline the importance of Fibre-To-The-Premises broadband for the future of technologies which benefit older Australians, in particular telehealth. On behalf of older Australians, and those living in remote, rural and regional parts of Australia, I urge you to reconsider your preferred National Broadband Network model.

It is unfortunate that the debate concerning the relative merits of respective NBN models has rarely touched on the fact that older Australians will benefit enormously from superior broadband connections. The NBN is not just for the young and tech-savvy. As you know, it has the potential to be a ground-breaking infrastructure achievement with health and related applications that will change the lives of older Australians.

An ageing population should not be considered a burden - the fact that Australians are living longer is something we should always be thankful for and proud of. However, a population with a greater percentage of older people requiring care and support presents challenges. Health costs increase with medical advances and the growing level of complexity of conditions and treatment.

Older people experience a range of chronic and complex issues and there is growing pressure on our health and aged care systems. An important way of ensuring that an ageing population receives sufficient care and support in the coming decades is by advancing telehealth. Telehealth is more than iPad and flat screen monitors. It is about using cutting edge technology to improve communication channels between carers, clinicians, service providers and the person being cared for. It is about improving the integrity of and access to medical records. It is about sophisticated one-on-one consultations and examinations via high definition monitors and cameras. As you know, the technology exists to expand remote, high-resolution consultations, examinations and diagnosis. However, bandwidth requirements are high and will only going to get higher as the technology improves.

In order for telehealth to reach its full potential, it is vital that older Australians have access to fast, reliable, medical-grade broadband. The Abbott Government’s Fibre-To-The-Node model will not guarantee many older people access to such a connection. Even if a local GP can afford to have FTTP broadband by extending the connection from the node, many of their patients will not. Put simply, telehealth consultations will not be possible unless both the medical professional and the receiver of healthcare both have a 21st century broadband connection. This is why FTTP broadband is essential to improving the health outcomes of our ageing population.

Telehealth will allow many older Australians to stay at home, if this is what they choose. What this means is that many older people can live where they want, where they feel comfortable and continue to receive high quality health advice and care. 

Expanding telehealth also presents the opportunity for significant savings. One trial from Feros Care discovered that the cost of daily telehealth supervision per day was seven dollars and fourteen cents while the average acute hospital bed cost $967 dollars per day to operate. An investment in a world-class broadband network will provide affordable and sustainable health services for more older Australians across the nation; especially in remote, rural and regional communities.  

I strongly urge you to embrace FTTP broadband, which could have significant benefits to the nation beyond the provision of superior entertainment systems and faster downloads. FTTP broadband will deliver medical-grade broadband connections, which will revolutionise the way we care for older Australians and those living in remote, rural and regional communities.

I trust that you will make every effort to liaise with your colleagues including Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews and Assistant Social Services Minister Mitch Fifield to discuss how telehealth can be enhanced and do your part by delivering 21st century broadband infrastructure.

My colleagues and I are more than willing to be part of efforts to advance FTTP broadband.

Yours sincerely,


First published in itWIRE,  on the 28th of August 2014

Tas Medicare Local "After Hours App" 

I would like to bring your attention to a new app that has been developed by Tas Medicare Local called “Tas After Hours”. This app allows the user to store their own GP details as well as the resources to help get in touch with after hours and emergency medical services. The app can be downloaded by iPhone/iPad users at the ITunes App Store and by Android users from Google Web Play. You can visit the website for the app here.

CHECK THIS OUT: Read the Hospice Proposal for Launceston here




The Tasmanian Fire Service recommends that you test your smoke alarms monthly and change your batteries when you change your clocks for daylight savings. For more information on smoke alarms and fire safety click here.