The pain felt almost metallic in nature, which didn’t mean anything to me at the time. He had returned from Thailand with a strange rash over his flank that two other experienced GP’s at my practice could not identify when I sought their help.
Just then a still small voice flashed into my consciousness about using my iPhone to take a picture and submit this unto the TeleDerm website. To my surprise within 30 minutes I received a text message saying that Dr. Jim Muir had reviewed the case and posted a reply. The rash in question was Cutaneous Larva Migrans!
This was case was submitted and published in the Australian Family Physician last year.
This encounter is echoed across Australia with similar consultations and enquiries being made of the TeleDerm service everyday.
The word has powerfully spread through Australian medical circles via twitter and multiple blog posts highlighting the outcry that this essential service may lose its federal funding from the Department of Health and Ageing.
TeleDerm addresses the lack of access rural patients have to specialist dermatology services and recognises the vast distances they may need travel to seek specialist dermtatological review.
To lose this service would be significant to the landscape of rural and remote medicine and again deepen the disadvantage felt by our rural patients.
Here at BroomeDocs both Casey and I would like to throw our support behind the #SaveTeleDerm campaign and encourage all doctors to unite in taking this cause straight to the Department of Health and Ageing.
So how can you help?
1) Sign the petition which will send an email to the Health minister alerting her to the dire consequences of losing TeleDerm
2) Tweet #savetelederm and tell everyone your story!