Telehealth Newsletter October Update 2021

October 2021


NZ Telehealth - October Update

Tēnā koutou katoa


I trust this newsletter finds you well and having a small respite from the huge amount of mahi that I know you are all doing. It has been a busy few months for the NZ Telehealth Forum with a growing membership and working groups settling into their groove. We had a great reception from the GP Conference in Wellington, which was a good opportunity to catch up with clinicians in-person and talk with them about concerns regarding privacy, security and perceived threats on workforce and income. We also had good news about the prescription waiver being rolled on until December 2021.


2021 Clinical Informatics Leadership Award 

Voting is open to select the winner of the 2021 Clinical Informatics Leadership Award, and I am humbled to be nominated as one of the finalists but it's also important to remember that these awards are only possible with the increasing acknowledgement of the role of clinical informaticians and of course there is never one person who is responsible for the great mahi we have all been doing over the past decade. Voting closes at 5pm on 7 October 2021 (today), and the winner will be announced at Digital Health Week NZ 2021 in Wellington on 29 November 2021.


10 year anniversary

We are looking forward to celebrating our 10 year anniversary in 2022. This is a great milestone of the organisation and planning is underway.


The highlights of the past few months for me have been two particularly great webinars, one on telehealth and disability and the other on Zoom fatigue. Sadly, the Zoom fatigue webinar had a glitch in the recording so is not available to view but some of the things I think worth mentioning is that this is a tough time for everyone and although most of us are keen proponents of video we should be mindful that back-to-back meetings in video can be just as, if not more, tiring than in-person. 


As we look forward to the end of the year, we are hoping to start meeting in-person again, both at our upcoming strategic advisory group meeting and also at the HiNZ Digital Health week in November. We look forward to seeing many of you at these events.


Once again, thank you for all that you do in improving access to healthcare for the population of Aotearoa New Zealand.


Ka kite anō
Dr Ruth Large


Free NZ telehealth images released

We have launched a Stock Photo Library with images which can be used by health providers to support the provision of telehealth and other digitally-enabled health programs in NZ. 


If you need specific photos and you don't see them in the photo library, send us an email with details about what you are looking for to We will endeavour to try and capture these in an upcoming photo shoot. 

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NZ Telehealth Forum 

The  NZ Telehealth Leadership Group (NZTLG) is the central leadership hub of the NZ Telehealth Forum (NZTF). There is a smaller executive group that makes the decisions on a daily basis and a larger Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) that meets quarterly to steer the organisation. The SAB and executive group appoint members through a nomination process, aimed at ensuring a diverse spread of the sector and a wide range of skills and experience. 

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Telehealth projects receive funding

A number of primary and community care providers have received support from the Ministry of Health’s Digital Enablement Programme to help them improve people’s access to general practice, and other community health services.


The programme supports providers to test ways primary and community health care services can be accessed digitally – without people having to leave home, or their hometown. It gives people a choice about how they would like to receive health services, and gives providers options to provide more comprehensive care in a different way. 


Pictured above: DIGIFALE initiative in action 

Patient Anywhere, Specialist Everywhere (PASE) 

PASE is a “passion project” for us in the NZTLG, something that we have been talking about for a while and at times has felt like tilting at windmills. We know that “virtual” hospitals are growing throughout the world and there has never been a better time to have this conversation in Aotearoa. With the improvements in technology capability and connectivity alongside the potential for national appointment booking capacity, a shared electronic record (Hira) and a national employer, we need to rethink how we deliver services.

Watch it now: Latest webinars 

The recording of the latest telehealth webinars are available on our website. We encourage you to share the video link to your networks.

If you have any suggestions for topics and panellists, please email


Cancer telehealth resources

The New Zealand Telehealth Forum, in partnership with Te Aho o Te Kahu (Cancer Control Agency), have created a Cancer working group. As one of our first pieces of work, we would love to hear about examples of current cancer care where telehealth is involved. Examples might come from primary or secondary services that are in the public, private or not-for-profit sectors. Please get in touch if you know of any relevant work, or are interested in joining the working group:

National Telehealth Register

The National Telehealth Register was created to help share telehealth related policy, processes, resources and projects. While the register continues to grow, we need your input by registering all telehealth work and projects in New Zealand.


To submit your work, please complete the Registration Form

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Join the NZ Telehealth Forum - it's free!

The NZ Telehealth Forum includes a diverse range of people including clinicians, operations, management, and technology. Learn more about our work.


We are here to support, and encourage the increased use of telehealth, we would love for you to join us. 

NZ Telehealth Forum Diagram

Special projects update

Most projects are run through the working groups. However, there are occasionally projects that fall out of scope from existing working groups and are developed with time-bound limitations to meet specific goals. A recent example of this is the Telehealth Learning Modules, where we established a project group and partnership to design and deliver this project. 


Membership of special projects are typically through nomination, but interested parties are welcome to submit their interest and to be kept informed of progress 

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