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Better, More Convenient Care Mustn’t Sacrifice Quality

Barbara Stewart MP

Spokesperson for Health

12 December 2013

Better, Sooner, More Convenient Care Mustn’t Sacrifice Quality

Replacing face to face consultations with teleheath calls could lead to sick callers not getting the proper and timely care they require says New Zealand First Health spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

This follows a telehealth nurse putting worried callers at risk by terminating calls before giving any advice or reassurance or even completing the calls. 

“Some of the symptoms ignored were serious and with every call not properly answered there is the potential for a tragic outcome.

“The healthline did the right thing by dismissing the employee for misconduct, but the fact that it took nine months and at least 49 callers were basically ignored by this employee demonstrates a clear need for improvement in the monitoring of telehealth workers.

“With our growing and ageing population, telehealth has the potential to relieve some of the burden on our health resources but we need to know that we can rely on the quality of these services, particularly as we use them more.

“Minister Ryall must ensure that his ‘better, sooner, more convenient’ care isn’t at the expense of quality,” says Mrs Stewart.

ENDS

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