WCMICS Grants Program
The WCMICS Funding Program provides health services with grants ranging from $20,000 to $200,000 to support projects aimed at improving the quality of cancer care. The program encourages effective partnerships and collaboration between other health providers and consumers; to improve coordination, accessibility and quality of care provided to better support all patients affected by cancer.
This year however, the COVID-19 pandemic precipitated an immediate transition to telehealth consultations for cancer patients to minimise the risk of infection for both patients and staff, reduce foot traffic in hospitals and facilitate social distancing. The second wave of COVID-19 in Victoria, with a high rate of community transmission, leading to increased infections, including health care workers requires continued use of telehealth into the foreseeable future.
WCMICS conducted a recent clinician survey found that since implementation, majority of telehealth consultations have been conducted via telephone, rather than video. Reasons for this vary but include limitations on hospital infrastructure, patient & clinician familiarity and preferences. Furthermore, a telehealth capability audit across partner health services and identified wide variation in telehealth processes and resourcing.
As such, WCMICS ran the Telehealth in Cancer services Assistance Program, 2020. This program will provide fast-tracked assistance to our partner health services to improve the quality of telemedicine provided to cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Applications were sought for practical assistance against 3 broad categories:
· ICT infrastructure funding
· Short term EFT funding
· WCMICS project staff assistance
The current round of funding is now closed.