An evaluation of remote communities services telecentres in five rural Newfoundland communities

Dwyer, Patricia (2004) An evaluation of remote communities services telecentres in five rural Newfoundland communities. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Citizens of rural communities face many challenges related to distance, environmental factors, socioeconomic barriers, transportation issues, and communication systems availability. Rural communities have been found to be disadvantaged in terms of access to: (a) health care; (b) peer support/consultation among professionals in a variety of occupations; (c) continuing education; (d) a range of centrally located government services; (e) economic markets; and (f) key decision makers in the public and private sectors. Telecommunication technologies have been recognized as powerful tools for reducing the impact of rural isolation and enhancing the delivery of health, education, and public and private services. -- One initiative, the Remote Community Services Telecentres (RCST), a shared use facility implemented in rural communities to provide teleleaming, telehealth, communications, and information access services, was established in five remote communities in Newfoundland and Labrador as a model to effectively meet the needs of individuals and professionals separated by distance. This study reports the findings from the evaluation of this model in those five communities. -- The evaluation found that the use of the RCST model in five sites is limited, but growing. Active participation in the centres has demonstrated that the technology can work, and the growth in utilization over the course of the study indicates that the telecentre is acceptable and useable by community stakeholders. The longevity of the RCST, however, is not clear. In the absence of key policy changes around health provider reimbursement and dedicated funding for continued use of ICTs to enhance rural access to services, the RCST model may fail to survive beyond the initial funding and enthusiasm for the project.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10452
Item ID: 10452
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 76-92.
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: 2004
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Distance education--Newfoundland and Labrador; Telecommuting centers--Newfoundland and Labrador.
Medical Subject Heading: Computer Communication Networks--Newfoundland and Labrador; Education, Distance--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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