CareHQ clinical director Dr. Reza Jarral has said that virtual services similar to CareHQ are useful in dealing with non-Covid-related GP appointments. CareHQ is a ProCare service offered in partnership with Southern Cross to help patients via online consultations seven days a week. Dr. Jarral notes that telehealth services are becoming common practice and can help offer treatment to people unable to see their regular GP in person. Dr. Jarral describes telehealth services as valuable and predicts that they will become even more essential in 2022.
"CareHQ clinical director Dr Reza Jarral says telehealth services like CareHQ can step up to fulfil non-Covid-related appointments that might otherwise be pushed back days or even weeks.
“The ways in which New Zealanders access healthcare have gone through significant changes since Covid-19 first reached our shores last year,” Dr Jarral says.
“While health officials juggle existing Covid cases, more and more families are self-isolating at home in their bubbles with numbers expected to rise in the coming months."
Dr Jarral says as we learn to live with Covid in the community, there is potential for GP capacity to become stretched as the monitoring needs of housebound Covid patients grows.
“For many New Zealanders, consulting with a GP via telehealth is no longer an unusual concept.
“With the traditional face-to-face GP visit not always possible during lockdown periods, a phone or video call with the doctor has been the only option available to many patients.
“Patients are also seeing the value of telehealth services outside of lockdowns.
"An online consult means they don’t have to leave the comfort of their own home if they’re feeling unwell. It also means they can access the healthcare they need in a timelier way, particularly when geography or doctors’ busy schedules pose barriers to getting seen."
If, as expected, increased pressure does land on general practices, Dr Jarral said telehealth services can step in to provide an excellent option for all New Zealanders to receive a high-quality medical assessment from an experienced GP.
“These services can also work closely with a patient’s regular GP, to deliver continuity of care while supporting grassroots primary care.
“Telehealth services have already shown themselves to be a valuable tool for the health sector in 2021. These services are set to become even more essential in 2022, as the country continues to navigate the uncertainty that this pandemic brings.” Click here to read more
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