Successful health service expanded to all Queenslanders

Published Friday, 28 October, 2022 at 03:45 PM

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

A trailblazing initiative set up during the height of the COVID emergency is expanding to now cover all of Queensland.

Metro North Health has been refining the Virtual Emergency Department model since April 2020 and it’s proven so successful, the HHS will offer the service to everyone in the state, meaning patients can receive emergency treatment from home.

Minister for Health and Ambulances Yvette D’Ath says the service will be available for people needing urgent non-life-threatening care by providing telehealth treatment.

“This is already making a difference in Brisbane’s northside and we want to replicate that success around Queensland,” Ms D’Ath said.

“It’s not only relieving demand on our busy emergency departments but it’s providing a streamlined and comfortable service to patients in their own home, by allowing people to access expert clinical advice remotely.

“The other benefit? It limits the number of people with contagious illnesses like COVID from presenting at hospitals, protecting our hard working and indispensable health professionals from exposure.

“It’s another example of how the Palaszczuk Government’s Queensland Health and Hospitals Plan  is embracing technology and other innovations to provide a world class health system and I congratulate Metro North Health for pioneering this model,” the Minister said.

The service will be run by senior Emergency Department staff, who are very experienced in triaging and diagnosing a multitude of emergency conditions and they’re available to treat, refer and prescribe medication accordingly for the patients.

The Virtual Emergency Department service comes under the umbrella of the Connected Community Pathways initiative, a $67.5 million commitment by the Palaszczuk Government to improve clinical care.

Metro North Health ED Consultant Dr Kim Hansen said the extension of the service was set to benefit both patients and the health system alike.

"We see patients of all ages, from zero to one hundred and beyond, and can diagnose their condition as well as prescribe and organise any medications or other treatment they may need,” Dr Hansen said.

“Common problems that we see and manage include COVID-19, common respiratory illness, children with fevers, gastroenteritis, minor injuries, vertigo, high blood pressure and back pain – anything you’d go to the Emergency Department for that can be assessed over a video call.

"We are open 7 days a week, including weekday evenings until 10pm, where patients will be seen first by an experienced emergency nurse, and then by a senior emergency doctor.”

Additionally, Queensland GPs and QAS staff can access the service to provide real-time emergency medicine assessment and support.

Since April 2020, the service has averaged 526 referrals a week.

Patients seeking care can visit the Metro North Health virtual ED here:


Media contact: Cullen Robinson 0418 170 474