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How a commitment to rural healthcare motivates TeleMed to bring nuclear medicine to WA's isolated communities

Michelle Legge
Business Journalist

Michelle Legge is the Smarter Business™ Digital Editor. She's the former editor of Hooroo.com by Qantas and contributes regularly to small business, social media and lifestyle publications

Michelle Legge
Business Journalist

Michelle Legge is the Smarter Business™ Digital Editor. She's the former editor of Hooroo.com by Qantas and contributes regularly to small business, social media and lifestyle publications

TeleMed proves high-tech healthcare services can be available to all, even communities in Australia’s most remote pockets.

In small business there are many reasons to break free from the nine to five and go it alone. The cause that drives nuclear medicine practitioner Peter Tually however, is truly an exception.

His company, TeleMed Pty Ltd., develops and uses e-health innovations and telenuclear medicine to significantly improve access to health services in rural and remote Western Australia. This is done to help bridge the gap in medical services that exist between the metropolitan sector and regional populations.

The Inspiration Journey - Telemed

picture inside a MRI scan machine

Motivation knows no boundary

TeleMed is a rural healthcare provider on a mission. Tually explains: “They often say geography is our silent killer. As I’m getting older I’m developing more of a social conscience.

“That’s really the main reason I get up at 3 o’clock in the morning, organise the radioactive isotopes and get on a plane and fly up there.”

Major milestone

A fortuitous business opportunity breathed air to Tually’s fire. He learnt of the planned closure of a diagnostic imaging practice in Kalgoorlie and acquired it for his own business, TeleMed Pty Ltd.

Until then, the company formed by Tually in 2005 had a modest 24-hour heart monitoring offering in the Western Australian Goldfields and even more modest turnover. His decision to continue delivering nuclear medicine services to the remote community proved a defining moment for TeleMed. 

Today, TeleMed’s success is built on Tually’s passion to address the disparity in health services offered in rural and metropolitan areas. “I’ve always had an interest and concern of the inequality in health that exists. For many reasons it shouldn’t be that way, I don’t think that’s an unreasonable expectation in this day and age with the technology that’s available”, he says.

Big hurdles

Tually’s chosen field presents him with business challenges few metro enterprises could imagine.

“There’s a lot of things that can go wrong from the A to Z. An example is the plane strike when Qantas was shut down for a couple of days and patients had to travel in for four or five hours by road from the rural sectors to come into somewhere like Kalgoorlie,” he says.

“I just had to persevere that I would find the money in some ways and start seeing patients and start paying off some debt.”

Lesson learnt: A dream, and a plan

Following the diagnostic imaging practice acquisition in 2010, TeleMed has continued growing through joint ventures to include the state’s Mid West, Peel and South West regions. While his business might be unconventional, Tually’s business strategy is not.

“If you fail to plan you plan to fail. I think once you’ve got a business model which can demonstrate that, you have the opportunity to expand into other regional sections, which is my desire.”

With a plan in place, Tually never loses sight of the mission he has committed himself to.

 

 

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