(April 2020)

Your health is important. Making sure you have access to the medicines and treatment you need is now available via a telehealth or e-consultation process (sometimes called a virtual consultation). You will get the same level of care from your trusted doctor via a secure, private and confidential web or phone system. 

This new way of seeing your doctor and other health providers helps us ensure we maintain physical distance from each other as much as possible and keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What is an e-consultation? 

An e-consultation takes place online or over the phone and ensures you can still get the same level of care from your doctor, practice nurse and other health providers without seeing them in person. 

It might include: 

  • Using a live-chat messaging service 
  • Emailing, texting or having a phone call with your doctor, practice nurse or other health provider 
  • A video call where you can see your doctor, nurse or other health provider to talk about and share your condition just as you would if you were in the same room. 

Why choose a telehealth e-consultation: 

  • You get the care you need, when you need it to ensure any ongoing conditions you have or new concerns are well managed by a healthcare professional, 
  • It eliminates the risk of spreading the highly contagious COVID-19 virus, 
  • It is faster and easier for you to do from home, 
  • If you need a face-to-face consultation, this can be arranged safely
  • And, you won’t have to leave the house when you are feeling unwell. 

Book your telehealth e-consultation today! 

Simply call your local Doctor or healthcare professional as you normally would and they will talk you through the options to best suit your circumstances.  

 

Frequently asked questions 

How do I pay? 

This will be dependent on your practice and you should expect the cost to be the same as a normal consultation feeThere are a variety of ways to pay and you may be asked to pay prior, during or after an e-consultation by way of: 

  • An online bank deposit to a bank account that the practice sends you in an invoice or 
  • Through payment platforms most often using a credit card but may also have the capability of a bank to bank transfer. 

Important: Please let your healthcare professional know if you are suffering from financial hardship at this time. Your health is the most important thing and they can work with you to ensure you receive the care you need when you need it most.  

Will my information be secure and safe? 

Yes. Your health professional will keep your information confidential and safe, and will treat the information you share with them in the same way as they normally would if you were to see them in person. 

What if I need a physical examination? 

There are times when a physical examination is necessary. Depending on your circumstances, you may be asked to examine yourself, have a trusted family member do this or if needed your Doctor will arrange for an in-person appointment where risks of passing on contagions are managed so that everyone’s health is ensured.  

Do I need to do anything to prepare for a virtual consultation?  

  • For any scheduled appointments your general practice may call you, or may be sent a link by email or text message with a link connecting you to an e-consultation room. 
  • Make sure you are in a comfortable and private place and if possible using a hands-free device, either with head-phones in your mobile phone or audio available on a tablet or laptop.
  • As with any healthcare consultation, you are welcome to have a family/whānau member or friend with you – just tell the health professional when you join that they are there.
  • Write a list of what you want to talk about and have a pen and paper handy to write anything down if you need to.
  • Have all of your medicines with you, either in a list or in the packaging so you can read them out to your Doctor.  

Important: there are some conditions that are not suitable for an e-consultation. 

PLEASE CALL 111If you OR ANYONE ELSE close to you think it is a life-threatening emergency or you are experiencing any of the below: 

  • breathlessness 
  • acute or severe chest pain 
  • actively bleeding or deep wounds or laceration 
  • psychosis or delusions 
  • suicidal thoughts
  • persistent vomiting
  • severe abdominal pain
  • inability to control bowel movements (pooing) or urination (peeing)
  • severe headache or giddiness
  • sudden onset numbness, weakness or slurred speech
  • fainting spells
  • suspected broken bones 
  • injuries causing severe pain, open wounds, severe bruising or swelling, loss of sensation, limb weakness etc 
  • sudden loss of vision. 

If you think you have COVID-19 and you have travelled overseas in the past 14 days, or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, and you think you might have the symptoms of COVID-19, phone Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 545 

Date posted: 9 April, 2020