4 November 2020
ProCare and Southern Cross Health Insurance have joined forces to launch a new virtual GP service, in response to demand for more alternatives to in-person general practice consultations.
CareHQ offers video GP consultations seven days a week 7am – 7pm for patients who need urgent advice when their own GP is not available or after hours.
Patients can access an appointment with an available GP through the CareHQ app and Southern Cross Health Insurance members can also access CareHQ via the My Southern Cross app. Crucially, CareHQ doesn’t enrol patients so practices aren’t at risk of losing patients to the service.
CareHQ clinical director, Dr Jamie Shepherd said: “Our aim is to preserve the relationship between practices and their enrolled patients, and the continuity of care that is so important for the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders. Virtual consultations are an essential option in modern general practice, and CareHQ extends that option for both practices and patients.”
CareHQ will initially be staffed by GP locums, but the aim is for GPs across the ProCare network, and across New Zealand, to be part of the CareHQ workforce when they have spare capacity and after hours. Practices offering virtual consults through the platform will be accredited, with the service overseen by a clinical governance committee.
Dr Shepherd added: “CareHQ aims to be the preferred virtual health option recommended by a practice if a patient can’t see their own GP in person. It extends high quality, trusted general practice cover for people who need an urgent appointment.”
Anyone requiring a physical examination will be encouraged to see their enrolled GP in-person where possible, and patients will also be encouraged to allow sharing of their CareHQ consultation notes with their enrolled GP. Non-enrolled patients contacting CareHQ will be encouraged to register with their local general practice.
Southern Cross Health Insurance CEO Nick Astwick said: “We’re a member-driven organisation that is committed to innovation. We want to challenge the way health services are provided to deliver better value and healthcare to members, and working in partnership with providers is key to achieving that.
“The partnership with Southern Cross Health Insurance and ProCare has meant we could deliver a virtual health service where we work with GPs. It also means we can leverage the expertise and connections of both organisations and expand the services that we offer our communities. Over time, CareHQ will explore further development of functionality to add more value to patients,” he said.
Notes for editors:
CareHQ is a partnership of ProCare Health Ltd and Southern Cross Health Insurance, operating as an independent entity.
CareHQ will be trialled with Southern Cross Health Insurance staff from the beginning of November with a wider roll out to Southern Cross Health Insurance members from mid-November 2020.
Practices or GPs interested in being involved with CareHQ by either providing workforce or referring patients are encouraged to contact CareHQ at firstname.lastname@example.org
A CareHQ GP appointment costs $65 when booked through the CareHQ app; $55 to Southern Cross Health Insurance members booking via the My Southern Cross app; and Southern Cross members with GP consult cover will be able to recover a significant portion if not all of this fee (subject to their policy conditions).
If you have any further queries, please contact:
Senior Communications Advisor, ProCare
021 263 1415
Senior Communications Advisor, Southern Cross
09 925 6481 or 022 191 0760
CareHQ is a virtual consultation service that provides New Zealanders with a convenient and easy to use virtual consultation with a General Practitioner (GP) when they can’t see their regular GP, require an immediate appointment or need one after-hours.
CareHQ is made possible by a partnership between Southern Cross Health Insurance and ProCare, however CareHQ exists as an independent service from both these organisations.