National telehealth service
After an extensive tender process in June 2015 the Ministry of Health awarded a $257.6 million tender to Whakarongorau Aotearoa (formerly Homecare Medical) to develop and deliver a new integrated national telehealth service. The partnership commenced on 1 November 2015 and is for a term of 10 years with an end date of 30 June 2025.
Whakarongorau Aotearoa provides phone and online advice to deliver a range of services for the Ministry of Health. The intention is to use telehealth to support the delivery these services more in future however it is important to note that Whakarongorau Aotearoa is separate to the NZ Telehealth Leadership Group.
The service provides phone and online advice, support, assessment of symptoms, triage, treatment advice, and preventative and educational aspects for a range of health, wellbeing and counselling services. Services include:
- 1737 Need to talk?
- The Alcohol Drug Helpline
- The Depression Helpline (Depression.org.nz, The Lowdown, The Journal)
- The Gambling Helpline
- Poisons advice
- Immunisation advice
- The Diver Emergency Service
- Early Mental Health Response
- Elder Abuse Response Service
A full list of services which are free of charge to users and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, can be referenced on the website.
Whakarongorau Aotearoa (FORMERLY HOMECARE MEDICAL)
Whakarongorau Aotearoa is a social enterprise owned by ProCare and Pegasus Health. The ProCare Network is New Zealand’s largest Primary Health Organisation (PHO) and has more than 800,000 patients enrolled throughout the greater Auckland region and more than 180 practices. Pegasus Health (Charitable) Ltd is a primary care network and PHO providing services and support to general practices and community based health providers within Canterbury to deliver quality healthcare to more than 400,000 enrolled patients.