Health Minister Tony Ryall has been given a first-hand demonstration of a video link that gives patients in the small central North Island community of Taumarunui access to medical expertise from specialists at Waikato Hospital.
Mr Ryall visited Taumarunui Hospital and saw the videoconferencing link between Taumarunui and Waikato Hospital’s that enables health professionals to seek assistance from specialists in Hamilton.
“Videoconferencing allows doctors and nurses in Taumarunui to gain expert advice on diagnosing and managing their most unwell or injured patients,” says Mr Ryall.
“They’re able to make informed decisions on which patients can be safely cared for locally, and which patients need to be transferred to Waikato Hospital for specialist treatment.
“Staff are also able to use the video link to ask for guidance on wound care. They can focus the camera on the wound, take a screen shot and send it through to their colleagues at Waikato Hospital for advice.
“Videoconferencing has great potential in geographically isolated areas like Taumarunui. It brings specialists to the patient’s bedside and reduces the need for Taumarunui people to drive at least two hours to Waikato Hospital.
“This is a great example of how technology is providing New Zealanders with better sooner more convenient healthcare,” says Mr Ryall.
Media contact: Jannel Carter 027 589 8884 or Lyle Skipsey 021 993 701