Video link clinics for East Coast diabetics

12 November 2014


Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Health


Media Statement


Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has welcomed the East Coast’s first diabetes Telehealth Clinic to help people living with diabetes.

“We want people to be living longer healthier lives with more of their health needs delivered in the community. Utilising technology and integrating services is a large part of achieving this,” says Dr Coleman.

From next week, patients from Ngati Porou Hauora’s Tawhiti Clinic at Te Puia Hospital and the Tokomaru Bay Clinic are able to meet via video link with the Diabetes Team at Gisborne Hospital.

Patients are encouraged to discuss their diabetes and any concerns. The Diabetes Team can then bring in clinicians from other specialties as required.

“Being able to have the flexibility to draw on a wide variety of specialties is important when supporting a person living with diabetes. Diabetes is complex and if not managed properly it can have a range of manifestations,” says Dr Coleman.

“Telehealth has the potential to make a huge difference in the Tairawhiti DHB as many people live in geographically isolated areas. It will save many patients time and money as travel to see specialists will be greatly reduced.

“With nearly 4,000 people diagnosed with diabetes in the Tairawhiti DHB this new service has the potential to make a positive impact on thousands of people.

“This new service is a good example of how the health sector is harnessing IT to provide better services closer to home.”

Media contact: Kirsty Taylor-Doig 021 838 372