Is telehealth the right tool for remote communities? Improving health status in rural Australia

Contemp Nurse. Apr-Jun 2004;16(3):163-8.


The health status of people in rural and remote areas, particularly of Indigenous Australians, has been widely reported to be poorer than their urban counterparts. Health care in rural and remote Australia has relied on the work of nurses, often in the absence of medical or allied health personnel other than via telecommunication. Over the last 5 years telehealth has been heavily promoted as an innovative and effective way of improving the health status of people in rural and remote areas by providing improved access to specialist care. Through national infrastructure development and funding for a vast array of pilot projects, telehealth provision has been promoted as progressive, effective, and modern. This Editorial reviews the literature and highlights a need for additional research around telehealth-mediated patient practitioner relationships.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Services Research
  • Health Services, Indigenous
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Medically Underserved Area
  • Needs Assessment
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Pilot Projects
  • Power, Psychological
  • Rural Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Telecommunications / organization & administration
  • Telemedicine / organization & administration*