NZ Medical Council issues new statement on telehealth

The Medical Council of New Zealand has published a new statement on the use of telehealth.  This follows a submission by the New Zealand Telehealth Forum, led by its principal consultant Pat Kerr (also an ATHS Committee member).  Many of the Forum’s suggestions have been adopted, including use of the term “Telehealth”, and taking a more positive stance on the use of telehealth.

See the new Statement on the Medical Council’s website under News and Publications / Statements – Standards for Doctors / Telehealth.

The Medical Council’s Statement also includes standards for “Prescribing”, and “Providing Care to a Patient Outside New Zealand”.   With regard to Prescribing, New Zealand legislative standards make it difficult for a practitioner to issue a prescription when the patient is in a different location, e.g. during a videoconference teleconsultation. This applies even if the patient is under the authorised prescriber’s care and scope of practice.   The Health Select Committee on the Medicines Amendment Bill is considering this issue.

For more information on the New Zealand Telehealth Forum, visit their web site.