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Keeping Covid out of Aged Care

ALMOST a quarter of a million dollars is being spent to roll out telehealth services across the region to keep COVID-19 out of aged care homes.

Western Victoria Primary Health Network is allocating $227,400 to 12 residential aged care facilities in western and south-west Victoria.

Cobden Health Residential Care, which has 60 beds and Heywood Rural Health, 45 beds, are among 12 residential aged care facilities to get the extended service.

The program will be delivered by tele-emergency service My Emergency Dr.

The project aims to increase access to timely medical advice, reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and minimise unnecessary transfers to regional urgent care centres or emergency departments for those living in residential aged care.

Access to the telehealth service is available until May 31 next year, WVPHN chief executive officer Rowena Clift said.

“The project allows us to not only offer greater opportunities to limit exposure to coronavirus for aged care residents in the Great South Coast and their general practitioners, but to also alleviate some of the pressure on emergency departments in this very demanding time,” Ms Clift said.

“We saw an opportunity to respond to the needs of our high-risk populations.”

Heywood Nursing Home is also tipped to be on the receiving end of a new kitchen and lounge room after it was announced as a recipient of the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund.