Leading healthcare provider, ProCare, has today celebrated the milestone of 1,000 telehealth consultations delivered for high-needs groups through the Ministry of Health’s Digital Enablement Programme, UnifyHealth.
UnifyHealth is a pilot programme that has been running in Tāmaki Makaurau since mid-December 2021 and has helped high needs patients access healthcare when they are unable to be seen at their local practice. UnifyHealth acts as a digital gateway, delivering online consultations at a subsidised rate to ensure that patients are able to speak to a doctor, even when their own General Practice is booked out.
Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at ProCare says: “More than 30 practices have been supported by UnifyHealth, representing more than 100,000 high-needs patients, by taking on patient overflow and out of hours care. This has been particularly important during the last few months, where we have seen increasing pressure on general practices and longer wait times as a result.
“This digital solution has helped increase telehealth engagement by 400% for Māori whānau and 1600% for Pasifika communities,” she continues.
“UnifyHealth has been such a successful programme as it has helped support both our high needs communities, and it has also assisted by easing pressure on some of our busiest general practices around Tāmaki Makaurau during an incredibly busy time,” concludes Norwell.
Paul Roseman, General Manager of Strategic Development at ProCare says: “Seeing the impact that this has had on our high needs community and how grateful patients have been to be able to access telehealth options when they need it most has been extremely rewarding for everyone involved.
“We are currently working hard with the various DHBs to look at how we can extend this programme and ensure we can continue to deliver results for patients and general practices across Tāmaki Makaurau,” concludes Roseman.
Patient feedback has been positive, with reviews such as: “So happy and blessed to have these video calls handy, especially being in isolation at home”; and “this was a very easy and simple service to use, thank you!”
Feedback from General Practices has also been extremely positive, with comments including: “We need this kind of support for GP practices, especially during the outbreak. I am very grateful that we have this option for our clinic today to cover our short of staff”; and “this service has been a lifesaver amongst the chaos.”