The service launched in November 2015 to bring together a number of health advice phone lines and to provide a clinical and technology platform for service integration and innovation in virtual digital health services.

What is telehealth?

Telehealth is the use of information and communication technologies to deliver health care when patients and care providers are not in the same physical location. For example, illnesses can be diagnosed and treatment provided via secure video conference.

To be effective, telehealth relies on fast broadband internet services. Health care-related education, research and evaluation can also take place using video conferencing.

Benefits of using telehealth

  • For patients: Faster access to care and shorter wait times. Remote patients can remain close to home, making consultations more convenient and reducing travel
  • DHBs: Fairer health system because of better access to care. More educational options for DHB staff via specialist video training
  • Specialists/consultants: Less time spent travelling for consultations. Greater control over scheduling. Closer working relationship between specialists and primary care
  • Aged care workers/nurses: Reduced need to transfer older patients. Increases nurses' knowledge through more exposure to specialist consultations
  • General practitioners: GPs who serve rural health facilities need to travel less frequently. Store and forward allows for accessible referrals and second opinions
  • Allied health workers: Rehabilitation and physiotherapy can take place via videoconference, meaning less time and budget spent on travel.

Whakarongorau Aotearoa - New Zealand Telehealth Services

In 2015 to Whakarongorau Aotearoa - New Zealand Telehealth Services (then called Homecare Medical) became the Ministry of Health partner to design, build a National Telehealth Service (NTS) and provide free to the public, 24x7 health, mental health, and addictions services across seven digital channels.

Read the latest annual plan, as well as previous plans.

Multi-year evaluation of the National Telehealth Service

The Ministry of Health commissioned a multi-year evaluation of the National Telehealth Service. The evaluation comprised of three phases: the post-implementation review, evaluation of Healthline and injury related services and evaluation of mental health and addiction services.

1. Post-Implementation Review

The first phase report of the evaluation, a post-implementation review was completed in December 2017. The post-implementation review assessed transition from the previous service providers to the integrated National Telehealth Service platform, and implementation of the service for the first 12 months of operation (up to October 2016)

The first report, the Post-implementation Review Report and the accompanying Technical Appendices for the Post-Implementation Review, are available for download below.

2. Evaluation of Healthline and injury-related services

The second phase report is available for download below. A copy of the accompanying Technical Appendices for this report are available on request.

3. Evaluation of Mental Health and Addiction Services

The third phase report is available for download below. A copy of the accompanying Technical Appendices for this report available on request.

More information