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Virtual Care Receives $130m Boost Ahead Of State Budget

Freeing up hospital beds is at the forefront of $130m pre-budget announcement into virtual health care services.

South Australia premier Peter Malinauskas said this Thursday’s state budget would deliver “a health and housing budget”, with easing the pressure on hospitals and emergency departments a top priority.

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“For both children and adolescents, as well as adults, we have independent hospital avoidance measures in the form of virtual care services,” Mr Malinauskas said.

“There’s $30 million that this budget is allocating towards the child and adolescent virtual care service, $60 million for the adult service, and then an additional $30 million that we are investing in the state control centre [at Tonsley].

“That is already starting to yield results in terms of better coordination for our hospital patient flow.”

The Child and Adolescent Virtual Urgent Care (CAVUC) has already proven a success for the state in the last 18 months.

Head of CAVUC said within the year and a half, 25,174 patients had used the service and were able to keep 22,650 of those out of emergency rooms.

From November 2021, 1,153 calls for South Australian ambulances had been received through the services, with 1,047 of those avoiding ambulance transportation.

The adult service of the virtual health care had also assisted around 18,000 people since introduced in 2021.

The virtual health care service is currently not available directly to the public. It instead is a partnership with the team and South Australian ambulance, hospital, community care teams and aged care facilities services.

A clinical assessment is made via a video link to support in providing the most appropriate care and treatment pathway.

The service is currently available every day from 8am to 10pm, which has been identified as peak demand for emergency resources.

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