Blasting into the future – at a snail’s pace: The Bedourie Primary Health Clinic Telehealth Story

Mrs Danielle Causer1, Mrs Louise  Poole, Ms Kylie Osborn

1Central West Hospital And Health Service, Longreach, Australia

Communications is vital particularly in remote areas. The Central West HHS has a total area of almost 400,000Km2 or 22% of the states land mass. In addition to this, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2001) Australian Standard Geographical Classification Remoteness Area identifies the Central West as one of the most remote areas of Australia.

In 2014, Central West HHS took over the management of Bedourie Clinic. Bedourie is a small town located on land traditionally owned by the Wangkanguru People, in the Channel Country of Central West Queensland. Bedourie is approximately 2000 kilometres west of Brisbane, and 500 kilometres south of Mount Isa with a population of 283 at the 2011 census. Bedourie’s remote Primary Health Clinic (PHC) is challenged by geographical distances, isolation and extreme weather variances. This 1 remote area nurse on staff responds to and provides emergency care and outpatient clinic activity. Any presentation requiring admission or treatment outside of the scope of a PHC is transferred to Mt Isa Hospital by air. Bedourie PHC welcomes many visiting specialist in conjunction with our fortnightly RFDS clinics and now have access to telehealth video conferencing.

This presentation takes you through the challenges faced and successes achieved over the past 3 years. From slow connection residential grade satellite to NBN Sky Muster satellite that enables live videoconferencing. It was a very exciting development, not only for patient consultation, but for emergency presentations and clinical support. There are exponential opportunities for both patient and staff education and continuing professional development. We are hopeful that by late 2017, fibre networks will be deployed to the town enabling high speed Internet and live videoconference calls.

Whilst “at a snails pace”, there are many lessons learned surrounding community engagement, empowering staff, overcoming remoteness and isolation, managing from a distance and stakeholder engagement.




Danielle Causer – a Registered Nurse who has worked in various roles across Qld and NSW and  China. She is currently the Nurse Educator for the Central West HHS.

Louise Poole – a Registered Nurse working in the public sector predominantly in Regional & Remote areas of Qld, NSW & WA. For the past 4 years Louise has worked as the CNC Telehealth for the Central West HHS.

Kylie Osborn – currently the Acting Telehealth CNC for Central West HHS.  Prior to this she was the Emergency CN and various Nurse Manager position at Widebay HHS.