Telehealth IVF introduced for bush patients

Anyone who has ever undergone IVF will tell you that with doctors appointments, pathology requirements, and medication organisation, it’s practically a full time job. Well imagine if you lived in a remote rural area.

For people living in the bush or remote areas, IVF treatment has been out of reach – but that’s about to change.

Australia is currently rolling out its first secure telehealth IVF service for patients living in regional and rural Queensland and New South Wales

New Brisbane clinic, Adora Fertility, is the first fertility clinic in Australia to offer telehealth on IVF.

“We have a very firm belief that infertility is not a choice, so all fertility treatments should be available to people of not just all socio-economic classes but also people from rural areas,” Adora Fertility medical director Dr Paul Atkinson said.

“It’s obvious sometimes people in rural areas get a bit of the raw end of the deal when it comes to health care, so it’s really all about making it more accessible for those people so if they are wanting a family.”

According to Dr Atkinson, it sometimes take a number of IVF cycles for a woman to become pregnant, and that the new service is designed to make the process a little easier for those who don’t live in a major city.

The new telehealth service will reduce the number of trips they will need to make to Brisbane.

Patients will be able to use their local health services for pathology appointments and participate in ‘virtual appointments’ with their fertility specialist using Coviu, a secure video consultation platform.

It’s believed that the new system will also considerably lower the cost of treatment, because people who have to travel to Brisbane for treatment also incur extra costs such as transport and accommodation.

“With the drought and the fires in New South Wales and Queensland, I think a proportion might be finding it more difficult to make ends meet compared to a few years ago,” said Dr Atkinson.

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