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A New Consumer Advocacy Group for the Health Sector

Happy to share that Im working with Craig Young and his team at TUANZ to establish a Digital Health Consumer Advocacy Group as a means to accelerate the uptake of digital tech in the health sector. We're launching today in Christchurch at the National Digital Health Conference. Text of the TUANZ press statement this morning follows:



A new advocacy group within TUANZ, the Tech Users Association, is being launched this weekend at the National Rural Health Conference in Christchurch to promote faster introduction of digital health services.

TUANZ Chief Executive Craig Young said that the speed at which health service users were being offered digitally-enabled services has lagged well behind other sectors of society.

“TUANZ has been championing the fast uptake of broadband-enabled technology for more than 20 years,” Craig Young said.

“Looking back at vision statements we published in 2002, our predictions for most sectors such as banking, government services, travel and education have proved remarkably accurate and have come to fruition. But health so far has lagged well behind.

“Our new group, the TUANZ Digital Health Consumer Advocacy Group, is a ginger group of ordinary consumers who will work alongside the sector to accelerate uptake. We will be focused specifically on services that relate to the customer interface, rather than iT systems within the sector itself.

“One example is personal online health records where consumers can access every detail of their health records across multiple service providers, just as we can with banks and airlines. There are a number of systems available but its use is relatively limited. In many cases key information is switched off so the customer cannot access it. It is often confined to the local GP practice only, without including information from hospitals and specialists. And there is little promotion of the online services, so many consumers don’t even know they exist.

“Another example is the use of telehealth – a video option for consultations with GPs and other health practitioners just like the Zoom calls we have all become accustomed to in many other parts of our lives. While there are some health situations where video obviously won't work, there are many where it is a cost-effective option for many people. Those who live in isolated communities, or who are time-constrained, or who have difficulty accessing treatment due to the pandemic, would benefit especially.

“TUANZ acknowledges that some good work has gone into projects like this but believes strongly that the pace of change has been far too slow. We look forward to our new Group interfacing with the health sector constructively so that the achievement of the efficiency gains from digital services can be accelerated.”

“The initial Advocacy Group of 12 health service users, drawn from the wider TUANZ membership, has been formed. Initially the Convenor will be former TUANZ CEO Ernie Newman who has spent some time working in the health sector as a consultant.”


Contact – Craig Young, 021488188


The association for the users of digital technology and connectivity.

We are the independent voice of our members and all users in a complex digital world. We know that access to technology is key to digital business and force for social good and we are here to help our members make sense of the digital future.

TUANZ has over thirty-five years of bringing the users of ICT into the debate about the future of the digital economy. Much of what we take for granted today around choice of service comes from the work we, with our members, have done and continue to do.

We are a powerful channel to decision-makers and developing leaders in this sector.

We have a highly engaged community of over 1,400 individuals working in our member organisations in roles that use or are responsible for digital technology

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