The purpose and objectives of the National Telehealth Service are to:
- be a trusted part of the health care system that offers confidential, reliable and consistent source of advice on health care in order to enable Consumers to manage their health care in an appropriate manner
- facilitate the right person delivering the right care at the right time and at the right place
- increase cost-effectiveness in the health care sector and reduce demand on other health services
- have the flexibility to adapt and develop over time to meet the changing needs of users and technology.
Value and impact through service integration
The National Telehealth Service (the Service) is an integrated platform bringing together a number of Ministry-funded health advice and support phone lines and other communication channels.
The Service aims to deliver the right care at the right time by the right person in the right place. It has the capability to ensure a seamless transition for people from one health advice service to another, providing a range of responses across the continuum of need, and linking them to appropriate clinical and referral pathways where required.
The Service has enabled a scalable clinical and technology platform to further develop innovative virtual health services – allowing flexibility in the way the platform can respond to the changing needs of New Zealanders and the health system, whilst maximising economies of scale to deliver value over time. New services and wider channel options may be added to increase access to support and information to best suit the needs of New Zealanders.
Funding and service partners
The Ministry of Health and Homecare Medical (New Zealand) Limited Partnership entered a ten-year agreement in September 2015 to provide the National Telehealth Service. Homecare Medical is owned by primary health organisations ProCare and Pegasus Health.
While the Ministry of Health is lead agency, the National Telehealth Service is supported by other funding partners: ACC, Health Promotion Agency, Ministry of Social Development and the Department of Corrections; all of which work together to deliver the outcomes expected of the Service.
Underpinning the National Telehealth Service is a strong emphasis on collaboration between the funders and provider, together with a spirit of continuous improvement and innovation.
The services are free of charge to users and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The range of services includes health advice, stop smoking support, alcohol and other drug counselling support, mental health, depression and anxiety support, gambling counselling support, poisons advice, immunisation advice, and secondary services to enhance capacity in emergency responses.
Read more about the telehealth services provided and their contact details.