New name and new board for telehealth society

The Australasian Telehealth Society (ATHS) has renamed itself the Australian Telehealth Society and has selected a new board, with president Jackie Plunkett standing down after almost six years in the role.

The new president is Kim Ford, an assistant director of nursing with the Tasmanian Health Service, and the vice president is Liam Caffery from the University of Queensland's Centre for Online Health.

Ms Plunkett said in her president's report that the COVID-19 pandemic had allowed telehealth to show its value.

“The ‘sell’ for telehealth is now over, now it is time for embedding it and maturing telehealth further into a more strategic offering,” she said.

“Most primary care telehealth has been offered as telephone only, this needs to be leveraged and video and remote monitoring need to be carefully injected into the mix. We have the ears of clinicians, government and consumers, let’s not waste it.”

Reflecting on South Australian telehealth expert Tori Wade's now famous quote that the telehealth sector has had 'more pilots than Qantas', Ms Plunkett said: “Well 2020 has been a year where telehealth has taken off and Qantas was grounded.”

The ATHS elected to change its name and constitution in October, she said.

“This change was implemented to acknowledge the major advances that New Zealand has implemented in the telehealth space and to recognise that our society has moved from clinical and technical objectives to funding and policy objective which relate specifically to Australia.

“As always, our New Zealand partners have a lot that they can teach us and vice versa.”

Posted in Movers and shakers

Tags: Telehealth, Australasian Telehealth Society

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