Media Release, 17 September 2020

Telstra and Samsung Electronics Australia donate tablets to keep hospital patients connected to loved ones

Thursday 17th September 2020: Hospitals across Melbourne and Victoria have received 140 tablet devices to ensure elderly and vulnerable patients can stay connected to loved ones during COVID-19 restrictions.

In a unique partnership, Telstra and Samsung Electronics Australia are working together and have donated 140 Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro tablets into 20 hospitals to allow patients to make video and voice calls. The devices will be provided with pre-paid mobile plans already activated and paid for as part of the donation. 

Telstra Sustainability Executive Jules Scarlett said the devices have been gifted to hospitals which have allowed them to deploy them how and where they’re needed most.

“We know how important it is for patients to keep connected with family and friends while they’re in hospital receiving treatment – and how tough it is for loved ones who want to stay in touch,” Ms Scarlett said.

“A number of hospitals reached out to us and told us how much of a difference this will make to patients and health staff so we’re more than happy to do anything we can to help.”

“We’ve worked with our great partners at Samsung to secure a number of devices and get these sent out to hospitals so they’re on the frontline and in the hands of those who need them right now.”

Garry McGregor, Vice President, Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics Australia said: “We know that human interaction during such challenging times, especially with loved ones, can make a world of difference.”

“Our hope is that through our partnership with Telstra, our technology will enable people to connect when they need it most,” Mr McGregor said.

At least two devices will be given to each hospital in the program, ranging up to 25 devices depending on the need, the number of patients and the number of COVID-19 wards.

The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Austin Hospital, Alfred Hospital, Ballarat Health Services, Eastern Health including Box Hill, Maroondah and Wantirna, Northern Hospital group including Epping, Broadmeadows and Bundoora, Western Health including Footscray and Sunshine Hospitals, Barwon Health including Geelong Hospital, Monash Health including Monash Medical Centre, Dandenong Hospital and Casey Hospital,  Mercy Health including Werribee and Heidelberg, and St Vincent’s Hospital will all receive devices.

Telstra and Samsung Australia began distributing the devices last week and they will be gifted to hospitals to determine how and where they’ll be put to best use. The cost of the devices is being covered by Telstra and Samsung Australia and the connection to the Telstra mobile network is being covered by Telstra.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro has been specially chosen because of its rugged design that makes it possible to sanitise, allowing them to be cleaned between use to minimise the risk of spreading infection inside wards.

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Media contact

Matt Smithson - Telstra Media Manager VIC/TAS - media@team.telstra.com