An innovative program which aims to increase access to information for regional mothers diagnosed with gestational diabetes has received $15,000 in support from the state government.
PharmOnline is an online advisory service, started by Walcha pharmacist Anna Barwick, which aims to provide 24/7 remote access to registered pharmacists via telehealth consultation.
Mrs Barwick welcomed the funding, which will assist with establishing information materials and promotion of a six-month program.
"We know from patient feedback that many women are waiting too long to be diagnosed and then be provided with information on how to manage gestational diabetes," Mrs Barwick said.
"Our gestational diabetes program is in the implementation stage of development. I am working towards having the service available by next month."
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall last week announced the funds for PharmOnline to stage the six-month trial.
"More than 41,000 Australian women are annually diagnosed with gestational diabetes," Mr Marshall said.
"PharmOnline is continuing its brilliant work utilising telehealth systems to provide medical information which empowers people to make informed decisions about their health concerns."
The gestational diabetes trial will offer individualised, private telehealth consultations to women at the point of diagnosis, ensuring they feel empowered about managing their symptoms.
Families will then receive weekly emails that align to their gestational development, which will include videos about medications, recipes with carbohydrate counts and how to interpret various test results.
"The program will particularly benefit those women who live in extremely remote areas and who have limited access to medical assistance," Mr Marshall said.
"I want to thank Anna for her work in this space and identifying yet another area that the skills of pharmacists can work to off-set the current medical practitioner shortage."
Participants will be able to lodge their interest in participating through the PharmOnline website www.pharmonline.com.au.
Mrs Barwick thanked Mr Marshall and the State Government for their support of this trial.
"I hope in time that it will become a permanent force which assists Australian women to overcome this obstacle during pregnancy," she said.
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