Warrnambool Base Hospital will be the first in Victoria to have its emergency department connected to the Royal Children's Hospital paediatric retrieval team.
The 24-hour, seven-days-a-week video connection will mean seriously injured and ill patients from the south-west will have the best of both worlds when it comes to medical opinion, with medical specialists in Warrnambool and medical specialists in Melbourne effectively working side-by-side in the one room at the same time.
Director of South West Healthcare's (SWH) Centre for Rural Emergency Medicine, associate professor Tim Baker, said the connection meant the paediatric retrieval team would be able to look at patients and provide advice .
"If they look OK they can be cared for locally, or if they are really sick we can be given advice from the paediatric retrieval team," he said.
"We have high-level paediatric specialists in this region so this really is the icing on the cake.
"It's always nice to have a second opinion."
Dr Baker said the Royal Children's Hospital was hoping to get the same system used in all Victorian hospitals .
"It's something that has taken some time to get going," he said.
"It's very secure and there is good (video) resolution."
It's hoped the connection will avoid some local patients having to be flown or taken by road ambulance to Melbourne.
The SWH Rural Critical Care Support Project has been made possible by Aussie Farmers Foundation gifting the otherwise unaffordable video-conferencing technology.
The initiative will be launched by Regional Cities and Major Projects Minister Dr Denis Napthine on Thursday, with a live video link to director of Ambulance Victoria's Adult Retrieval Victoria, Dr Marcus Kennedy, and the Royal Children's Hospital paediatric emergency transport service.