This is care provided without you visiting your general practice in person.
We've all become used to video chats with our kids, friends, whānau and workmates, and more and more practices are offering the ability to work with you in this way now too.
Virtual care can be provided without you needing to visit your general practice in person. It is sometimes referred to as telehealth, virtual healthcare or e-consultations.
For many of your health and wellbeing concerns your doctor or nurse can provide the care and support you need virtually. This can be by securely messaging your care team via your patient portal, emailing, speaking on the phone or having a video chat.
One of the major advantages is saving time travelling to and from appointments. You can have your appointment from home or work which may make it easier to balance getting the care you need with the other demands you juggle in your life. Some virtual options are more cost effective than in person consultations too.
Many practices adopted virtual care as part of our response to COVID-19. But please rest assured your practice is a safe place for you to visit. Practices have adopted many new infection control protocols for your protection. You may find you are directed to a different waiting area than before or you may be asked to wait in your car until it is time for your appointment. Some practices may see people with different health concerns at different time of the day in order to further protect those who may be more vulnerable.