More than 3,000 patients who experienced a stroke in rural and regional NSW have received life-changing treatment thanks to the $21.7 million NSW Telestroke Service.

Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said the Tweed Hospital Telestroke site has made a huge difference by directly linking stroke patients and their doctors with specialist stroke physicians.

“Doctors at Tweed Hospital Telestroke site are connected with the state’s leading clinicians via video consultation, where together they can determine the most appropriate treatment option for each patient,” Mr Provest said.

“Since becoming operational in May 2021, the Tweed Hospital Telestroke site has connected local patients with a network of virtual specialist stroke doctors managed by Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney.”

“Every second counts when it comes to a stroke and this service ensures patients are treated as quickly as possible, ensuring the best possible outcome.”

Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said the lifesaving service, now fully rolled out across the state, is critical for hospitals in rural and regional NSW.

“Every year, about 19,000 residents in NSW have a stroke, and more than a third of those hospitalised are from regional and rural areas,” Mrs Taylor said.

“Innovative models of care like Telestroke have transformed healthcare in rural and regional NSW, allowing patients to be treated faster than ever before, in their communities.

“Telestroke has been an absolute game changer with, in the majority of cases, patients being seen and treated faster in our regional hospitals than they would be in metro areas. This service is leading the way.”

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the NSW Telestroke Service is now saving lives at 23 rural and regional hospitals by bringing expert medical care more quickly to people who suffer strokes.

“When someone has a stroke it is absolutely vital they receive medical treatment as soon as possible, which is exactly what the NSW Telestroke Service delivers, no matter where you live in the state,” Mr Hazzard said.

“This innovative service provides 24/7 access to life-saving stroke diagnosis and

treatment, connecting patients and local doctors with a network of specialist stroke physicians via video consultation, managed by Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital.”

The 23 participating hospitals are located in: Tweed, Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Moree, Armidale, Tamworth, Port Macquarie, Manning, Dubbo, Broken Hill, Orange, Bathurst, Lithgow, Blue Mountains, Goulburn, Cooma, Shoalhaven, Griffith, Wagga Wagga, Deniliquin, Moruya and Bega (South East Regional Hospital).

The $21.7 million NSW Telestroke Service is jointly funded by the NSW and Commonwealth governments.

Implementation of the NSW Telestroke Service is a collaboration between the Prince of Wales Hospital, eHealth NSW, the Agency for Clinical Innovation and the Ministry of Health, with support from the Stroke Foundation.

Vision of the NSW Telestroke Service is available here: