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News : Poison Helpline Welcomes Homecare Medical to National Telehealth Service
Dunedin, NZ, June 22, 2015 -- The poisons helpline is "delighted" to learn of Homecare Medical’s successful bid to manage the national telehealth service.
At the National Poisons Centre, director Wayne Temple says both providers share the same values regarding healthcare delivery and this partnership will be of benefit to New Zealand.
"Greater access for patients and seamless inter-service referrals are just a couple of benefits that will arise from the partnership," Dr Temple says in a media release.
Last week, Homecare Medical announced it won the tender to integrate Healthline, Quitline, the poisons helpline, the alcohol and drug helpline and the helplines for depression, gambling, and public immunisation advice. The new-look service is scheduled to go live in November.
Previously, Dr Temple expressed his reservations about the merger, when there was concern all services would go under one telephone number.
But his reservations have since eased, with the announcement changes will apply behind the scenes only, and any phone numbers will not change "at this stage".
A media release by Homecare Medical last week says University of Otago was involved in designing how poisons advice will be integrated in the new national telehealth service. For example, the new service’s triage nurses will have access to some parts of the poisons centre’s information database.
The poisons helpline is based in the Department of Preventative and Social Medicine at the University of Otago. The service will remain based in Dunedin after the changeover.
The poisons helpline receives 35,000 enquiries every year.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Homecare Medical:
Homecare Medical is a New Zealand-owned healthcare organisation providing telehealth services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Quit Group (which operates as Quitline) is an incorporated charitable trust which was established in 1999. We are committed to helping all New Zealanders quit smoking, with a particular focus on Maori, Pacific peoples and pregnant women. Our free services are funded by the Ministry of Health.
Published: Tuesday, June 23, 2015