Minister for Health, Health Infrastructure and Medical Research
There has been remarkable progress in the delivery of healthcare in recent years, and this is matched in other areas of our lives, where the ways we interact with each other have been transformed. We have learned that despite physical distance, we can succeed and thrive using virtual and digital connections.
That’s why this Virtual care strategy is so important right now.
This strategy seeks to harness the growth and innovation in ways of working and interacting with each other. It will bring healthcare to Victorians, wherever they live, and connect the people at the heart of the healthcare system.
Research shows that the best healthcare outcomes occur when care is provided at home, or close to home. Receiving high-quality healthcare close to loved ones, pets and familiar surroundings means people can recover and return to the things they love to do, and the people they love to see, sooner.
I hear many stories of patients travelling long, costly distances to be seen by the right specialist. With virtual care models, a patient in a small rural town can access specialist care sooner and without the challenges and costs of travel.
As well as providing clinical services, we can also use virtual technology to provide the latest education, support, and training for all our clinicians, whether they are in regional, remote or metropolitan locations. Virtual education will reduce travel time and allow busy professionals to fit learning into their schedules. This will allow the Victorian healthcare system to perform at its best, across the state.
We have seen how virtual care models can transform our healthcare system. The Victorian Virtual Emergency Department has enabled patients to receive high-quality emergency care in their homes – reducing the demand for ambulance transport and relieving pressure on emergency waiting rooms.
The Virtual care strategy is about ensuring we have a shared vision for how safe, effective, and acceptable virtual models of care will be supported and embedded in our health system to enhance the way we care for our community.
I am excited about the future of our healthcare system, and the opportunities that lie ahead for transforming the way we deliver the right care at the right time, in the right place.
The Hon. Mary-Anne Thomas MP
Minister for Health
Minister for Health Infrastructure
Minister for Medical Research
Reviewed 25 September 2023