Digital solutions should help drive new public health system
Tamaki Makaurau – The revamp of the public health service is an opportunity for Aotearoa to create and implement digital tools that will help the health system and reduce inequality for all Kiwis, NZ Health IT (NZHIT) chair Kate Reid says.
The major health system refit is the beginning of a new era and a golden opportunity to transform delivery of health services in Aotearoa by adopting digital technology, she says.
“Digital tech will enable the system, specialists, surgeons, consultants, doctors, nurses and healthcare workforce to get closer to patients.
“Government understands we need an immediate uptake of virtual healthcare services to support a new national health system.
“Unprecedented measures must be taken as New Zealand is sailing into substantial health changes in a fast-changing tech world.
“We want to define the direction for health tech for at least the next five years so there’s a unified approach to contributing towards achieving full tech enablement.
“NZHIT wants to assess the economic benefits of the digital health sector and global opportunities for export growth.
“The health and wellbeing of New Zealanders is essential, and we understand their needs first and foremost and how tech can support people’s health.
“The covid pandemic has shown us just how important digital tech is to our health, wellbeing and economy.
“NZHIT is working with the government to build a world class health, disability and social system for the benefit of everyone living in Aotearoa.”
Reid says it is encouraging to see government placing urgency around improving access to digital healthcare services for consumers and health staff.
“Digital health technology is reshaping all of our lives. In 10 years’ time, people won’t believe you had to ring to make an appointment then sit in a waiting room for 45 minutes with all the associated risks this entails.
“Our health system reinforces Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles and obligations, with rangatiratanga shaping care design for Māori, so Māori models of care flourish.
“Everyone can access a wider range of support to stay well in the community, with more services designed around people’s needs and which better support self-care.”
Article written by Kip Brook Editor-in-chief Make Lemonade
Christchurch, New Zealand