While small and rural communities face the threat of a loss of local hospital services, technological development is actually allowing more local access.
Yesterday, the Ontario government announced that trauma patients across Ontario now have access to a neurosurgeon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the Emergency Neuro Image Transfer System (ENITS). This online consultation system allows hospitals to send head scan images to ENITS where they can be reviewed by neurosurgeons anytime, anywhere.
Seventy neurosurgeons at 13 neurosurgical centres provide online consultations to 100 acute care hospitals through this system.
The government claims that since January 2009, 1,558 patient transfers have been avoided, saving more than $50 million.