Innovative specialist advice for remote Queensland patients

12 November 2019

In an Australian first, remote general practitioners (GPs) and patients will have access to specialist advice without the need for a face-to-face consultation.

The Queensland e-Consultant Partnership program, which is scheduled to begin next year, will link rural and remote GPs and their patients through a secure online messaging system.

The program is being led by Professor Claire Jackson, Director of the University of Queensland’s Centre for Health System Reform and Integration.

Professor Jackson said specialists will deliver advice within 72-hours of being contacted as there is no need for being in real-time. 

"The program will target patients with chronic conditions such as asthma, complex diabetes and lung, kidney and heart disease," Professor Jackson said.

"Rural and remote Australians have lower life expectancy, higher prevalence of chronic disease, reduced access to health services and often present later with more serious illness than their urban counterparts.

“Limited access to specialists in western Queensland means patients have to travel long distances to access services in regional areas and Brisbane,” Professor Jackson said.

“This innovative program cuts through the tyranny of distance and enables early intervention in disease treatment and reduces the need for hospital visits.”

Professor Jackson is working with Queensland Health, the Western Queensland Primary Health Network, the Mater Hospital in Brisbane and the Australian Digital Health Agency to deliver the eConsult program.

Australia’s peak research advocacy body, Research Australia has recognized Professor Claire Jackson for her leadership in fostering better patient care.

Research Australia CEO Nadia Levin said Professor Jackson is a trail blazer in Australia’s primary health care reform and has shown extraordinary leadership and skill in translating research to create local systems for better community-based care.

“We are honoured to have Professor Jackson as a finalist in our upcoming Health and Medical Research Awards,” Ms Levin said.

The awards recognise contributions made to Australian health and medical research through ground-breaking research and discovery, ongoing advocacy and generous philanthropic donations that make innovation possible.

The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony on Thursday 14 November in Melbourne.

Media: Professor Claire Jackson,; Faculty of Medicine Communications,, +61 7 3365 5133 or +61 436 368 746.