Patient is a virtue as Govt launches health tech campaign

Health Minister launches public campaign for patient portals with the hope that every New Zealander will have portal access.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has launched a public campaign for patient portals with the hope that every New Zealander will have portal access.

Fewer than 23 percent of the approximately 800 general practices provide portal access, which the National Health IT Board had hoped would be available to all by the end of last year.

The Ministry of Health had earlier agreed to provide NZ$3 million toward expanding the use of portals and of that, $500,000 is for an awareness campaign.

The remainder will be spent on tools and support for general practices that sign up to use patient portals.

Coleman says portals are secure online sites that give people access to their health information at any time of the day.

The cost of installing currently available products has meant that the uptake of portals has met resistance from the general practitioner community with market leaders Medtech Global and MyPractice both offering portals to the industry.

According to the ministry last year, only 78 out of the around 800 practices were currently offering a portal because of the cost, a figure which has now grown to 132 practices.

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