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The Tokoroa Council of Social Services (TCOSS) Early Years’ Service hub is embracing SmartHealth as a way to help support vulnerable children and their families.

Covering Tokoroa, Putaruru, Tirau, and Mangakino, the Early Years’ Service Hub aims to improve service co-ordination for children and their families from pre-birth to six years old.

Monthly hub hui in each area bring together midwives, Plunket, early childcare providers, kohanga reo, the Salvation Army and other community groups, to identify trends and find ways to address issues in their local communities.

The November hui in Tokoroa heard about SmartHealth from Waikato DHB executive director of virtual care and innovation Darrin Hackett and clinical director primary and integrated care Dr Damian Tomic. Early Years’ Service Hub Co-ordinator Lulu Williams says it was immediately obvious how SmartHealth could make a huge difference in the community.

“GPs here are so busy and overloaded, families have to wait a day or even several days to get an appointment for a sick child. We’re struggling now, and in two years it will be worse,” she says.

“Families with financial challenges also have the stress of getting transport to the doctor’s office. If you’re working all day often you don’t see a child is sick until the evening, so there is also the worry about how to pay for an out of hours doctor appointment.”“SmartHealth has so many benefits. Being able to see a doctor when you need one, cutting out the travel and having free access to an out of hours doctor you can talk to on video is absolutely Early Years Service Hubawesome.”

TCOSS will be promoting SmartHealth widely through their networks, encouraging families to sign up and use the virtual health service. A SmartHealth workshop is also planned for early next year, where people will be able to come and sign up to SmartHealth and get support for setting it up on their devices.

More about SmartHealth

SmartHealth offers a FREE online platform and mobile app that allows people to access a range of health services via smart phone, tablet device or computer including:

  • Free after hours online access to doctors by video, voice or text chat (6pm – 11pm Monday to Friday, and 8am – 8pm on weekends and public holidays)
  • The ability to ask a healthcare professional a question 24/7
  • Online appointments with hospital specialists without leaving your home, if appropriate for your condition
  • Helpful checklists and reminders
  • Good quality, doctor-approved health information on topics, conditions, treatments and research.

For more information visit www.smarthealth.org.nz 

For more stories visit SmartHealth in Action.

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