Virtual care, also known as telehealth, safely connects patients with health professionals to deliver care when and where it is needed. It complements the face-to-face care that you are used to.

In NSW, virtual care can be delivered in different ways, including:

  • telephone – an audio connection between two or more people
  • video conference – video connection of two or more people allowing all participants to speak to each other, see each other and in some cases exchange data simultaneously
  • remote monitoring – using technology to collect and send medical data to an app, device or service
  • store and forward – where a patient allows clinical information to be collected and sent electronically to another person or site for evaluation or management.

Potential benefits of virtual care for patients, carers and health care professionals

NSW Health's priority is providing world class healthcare that is personalised, safe and of the highest quality. Virtual care helps us to do this.

Virtual care can help patients to receive more appropriate care in a timely fashion, and provides benefits for all patients, no matter where they live. It supports patients and families to:

  • receive care closer to home, their family and community
  • have increased convenience and choice
  • have reduced travel time and cost
  • have more equitable and timely access to services to improve continuity of care
  • have access to specialist services otherwise not available in their area.
  • have ability to connect with their loved ones through technology.

Healthcare professionals have been using technology to deliver care to patients for decades. Now, with advances in technology, the support for health professionals and benefits for patients and the health system are even greater.

Virtual care supports healthcare professionals by:

  • improving access to specialist services and support
  • improving clinical networks and professional collaboration
  • facilitating flexible service delivery models and multidisciplinary care.

Virtual care supports NSW Health's vision for a sustainable health system that delivers outcomes that matter to patients and the community, is personalised, invests in wellness and is digitally enabled.

NSW Virtual Care Strategy - 2021-2026​NSW Virtual Care Strategy - 2021-2026

The NSW Virtual Care Strategy supports a coordinated, consistent and sustainable approach to scale virtual care across NSW. It builds on the important and innovative work of many health partners across NSW.

Virtual care in NSW: Guide for patients, carers, families and the communityInformation for patients, carers, families and the community

Virtual care in NSW: Guide for patients, carers, families and the community explores what virtual care is, how it is used and your choices and options. It has some frequently asked questions and links to helpful information.

Current as at: Tuesday 26 April 2022
Contact page owner: Strategic Reform and Planning