Mater’s virtual rehabilitation goes global
Mater’s virtual cardiac rehabilitation pilot program in Townsville has been hailed a success, with Advance Queensland funding set to expand the service to private and public patients across Northern Australia and overseas.
The program allows people from rural and remote communities to recover from cardiac procedures in their own homes while receiving virtual care from Mater Private Hospital Townsville clinicians for six weeks after surgery.
Papua New Guinea patient, Janice Buri, recently became the first international patient to benefit from the new program after receiving a double valve replacement at Mater Private Hospital Townsville.
“I spent the first few weeks after my procedure in Townsville however now have travelled back to Port Moresby, closer to my home in Mount Hagen in PNG’s highlands,” Ms Buri said.
I am so grateful Mater offers virtual rehabilitation as it makes it much easier for me to travel back to be with family.Janice Buri, Papua New Guinea
“I am already much more active now and able to do more than I could before my surgery which was just six weeks ago.”
Mater Private Hospital Townsville Allied Health Manager Gabrielle Dockray said the expansion of the service was made possible thanks to $250,000 of Advance Queensland funding.
“Mater’s cardiac virtual rehabilitation program was piloted throughout 2022 and saw fantastic results, with patients from Mackay, the Burdekin, Charters Towers, Richmond and Cairns all able to recover from home,” Ms Dockray said.
“Cardiac rehabilitation continues for six weeks after a patient is discharged, with sessions run twice a week with a clinician – so for these sessions to be completed from home rather than requiring patients to drive to Townsville and back is significant.
“After the successful pilot program, Mater and project partner Cardihab have received $250,000 in Advance Queensland funding for the expansion of the program to be offered to both private and public patients across Northern Australia – and even further afield – who do not have access to this service locally.”
Mater Private Hospital Townsville Executive Officer Stephanie Barwick said Advance Queensland funding would assist Mater and phone application developer Cardihab to deliver virtual rehabilitation to up to another 250 cardiac patients across Northern Australia over the next 12 months.
“This program is ensuring that Mater continues to build on its vision to empower people to live better lives through improved health and wellbeing,” Ms Barwick said.
“Healthcare is always evolving and partnering with innovative companies like Cardihab ensures that Mater continues to provide access to new and world-class services to people across Northern Australia and our neighbours.”
Ms Barwick said the Advance Queensland funding allowed the program to expand to support both public and private patients in rural and remote communities.
“I encourage anyone who believes this may benefit them to discuss it with their GP,” she said.
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