Labor’s $11.9m plan to cut stroke deaths in bush
STROKE victims in the bush would be offered faster diagnosis and treatment under a plan for a national tele-medicine network to be announced today by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
The network, which links city-based specialists with rural and regional hospitals, aims to reduce the higher incidence of strokes in country areas, where people are almost 20 times more likely to suffer a stroke than city-dwellers. They are also more likely to die from a stroke because of a lack of access to specialists and lifesaving treatments to remove blood clots.
Federal Labor will today pledge $11.9 million towards setting up the network that will roster city-based specialists across all 41 rural and regional emergency departments.
"This is a policy that will save and improve lives. It is part of Labor's commitment to improving the health of the seven million Australians who live outside metropolitan areas," Opposition Health spokeswoman Catherine King said.
The program will be paid for out of Labor's $2.8 billion Better Hospitals Fund. Mr Shorten has already pledged $1 billion out of the fund for more beds, upgraded emergency departments and new facilities.