Following a message that NZHIT sent to its members yesterday on behalf of the Ministry of Health I received a number of responses, the majority of which were positive and supportive of the request from Shayne Hunter to assist when it comes to charges for additional demand.
There were a small number of negative responses (mostly due to my message looking like I was on a phishing trip!). It is understandable for some to feel sensitive about this matter during a period when they are drawing on their own resources without passing on some or all of these costs to their customers.
I don’t know the factors that led to the Ministry’s request, but I do know that Shayne fully understands business imperatives. He would not have taken this step lightly. I agreed to distribute this message knowing that NZHIT’s members are already assisting in whatever way they can.
It’s important to note that there are some digital providers out there who sadly are not NZHIT members (yet) so I hope they also received the same message.
I am so proud of the way NZHIT’s members have responded to the call to action to do what it takes to support New Zealand’s health and disability services.
There are some members who are at the very front line of the battle against COVID-19. They are providers of healthcare to New Zealanders needing care across the spectrum of health, disability, mental health and addiction.
Then there are all of those NZHIT members involved in the provision of digital health solutions and products that are crucial enablers of healthcare services.
Over the past two weeks I have been speaking with many members (phone and video, of course) and receiving emails from them that reinforces just how seriously they are taking their role in meeting the pandemic head on.
As a country, we don’t yet have full enablement of digital technology in our health and disability system but we do have extremely innovative, hard working and capable people who have committed themselves to doing what it takes to ensure their solutions can deliver to their fullest capability.
We are fortunate to have digital systems that are established, sound and stable with innovative capabilities already in place. Added to this is a vibrant digital health innovations community who have, and are, coming up with ways for their solutions to enable further support to the health sector.
They know just how important the next few months is to us all. This includes gearing up their workforce and investing in additional capacity. At the same time supporting their staff, helping them set-up operations in their own homes to ensure operational continuity and wrapping additional assistance to help their staff’s families cope during this time of high stress.
I am humbled by how they’re doing this in many cases at their own cost without an expectation of “return on investment”, whilst at the same time offering solutions, services, products and licenses for free, at cost or at significantly reduced margins.
The enthusiasm to use their skills, knowledge and capabilities is palpable.
As always, NZHIT is supporting and advocating for its members (which includes the MOH and ACC). We are providing advice and guidance wherever possible so please don’t hesitate to make contact at anytime directly to me on firstname.lastname@example.org or +64 21 414631.