North West Coast NBN Connection a Disservice to Medical Professionals

July 26, 2017

A major heart specialist is sharing his grievances on the ongoing problems he is encountering with the NBN, and has even reached the point of leaving the West Coast, The Advocate reported.

Head of the Charles Clinic Heart Centre Dr. Geoff Evans travels almost 150 kilometres to see up to 20 patients a day, travelling from Launceston to Burnie three days a week. Despite his strong commitment to improving health care in the Coast, the National Broadband Network (NBN) is continuously destroying this commitment due to the lack of service in the area. Sadly, Dr. Evans is now having serious thoughts of closing his clinic in the North West Regional Hospital precinct because he can’t get faster internet services.

“We are now in the unfortunate position of having to decide whether to reduce our services or withdraw them entirely,” Dr. Evans said as quoted in The Advocate. This is unfortunate since the trouble started when he thought they were done for.

“We had been struggling for several years to upgrade desperately needed heart care services, because of the lack of connectivity. So when we recently got a new nbn connection, we thought our worries were over,” he added as quoted in The Advocate.

However, the NBN speed that they got was just slightly faster than dial up. “As a result, the work of our clinic was actually hampered, not improved,” Dr. Evans said as quoted in The Advocate. “We can’t function in this way.”

Dr. Evans’ business involves uploading of large image files and sending them from his patients to their GPS.  “We are functioning in a jury-rigged manner in the hope that it gets better. We are using two 4G modems to support the nbn service,” he said as quoted in The Advocate.

After such inconvenience from the NBN, Dr. Evans has sent a letter to the Federal Minister for Communication, Senator Mitch Fifield. However, there was no answer from the Senator so far.

The doctor was also offered a place in a new building located in the Burnie medical precinct. Unfortunately, he can’t commit to it because he is not sure if the clinic will be able to get internet connection of 10 Mbps from the NBN.

Alistair Sherman, Dr. Evans’ business manager, said as quoted in the Advocate: “I’m really appreciative of what the guys at nbn have done so far. All we need is a written guarantee that they will turn it on on such and such a date, and that we will get a minimum 10Mbs speed. But they won’t.”