Armidale mother says permanent telehealth is a ‘massive win’ for rural IVF patients | The Inverell Times

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ARMIDALE mother Jessica Dixon says news telehealth has been made permanent is a massive win for rural women undergoing IVF. After a six-year struggle to conceive naturally with her partner Leonard, the couple finally got help from their local doctor. Genea Fertility Specialist, Dr Mark Livingstone, travels to Tamworth in northern NSW regularly to visit regional patients, and Jess and Leonard met him on one of his fly-ins. After a long and tough journey, Little Jack Dixon was born through IVF in October 2019. Mrs Dixon said if telehealth was around throughout the process, it would have saved her thousands of kilometres of travel to appointments in Sydney. “I think it’s fantastic, because the last thing you want to be doing is travelling,” she said. “For us it would be a six hour trip there and six hours back. “They’re still going to need the face-to-face appointments, but it’s just the initial process you can do over the phone and then they can say ‘okay you’re going to have to have blood work done’ and then send the referral.” READ MORE: Genea Fertility Specialist, Dr Mark Livingstone, said the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated adaptation in the delivery of healthcare across all settings. “For those needing to access fertility services, telehealth has provided a solution for thousands of couples who otherwise would have had to wait until clinics were able to reopen,” he said. He said the telehealth service has proven to be an effective way to to deliver fertility care to patients particularly for those in regional locations such as Tamworth. “Whilst it cannot completely replace the benefit of seeing a couple face to face it is a service that has proven to be an invaluable tool to allow equal access to fertility services prior to treatment,” he said. “At Genea we were able to shift to a telehealth model whereby the clinician consultation, nursing input and logistical planning were able to continue despite the lockdowns across the states.”


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