| 21 Apr 2020

A local internet provider is helping patients at Timaru Hospital stay connected with friends, family and whanau during the COVID-19 restrictions by donating tablets for patients to use.

When New Zealand’s alert level 4 lockdown commenced on March 25, the South Canterbury DHB adopted a no-visitor policy at the Timaru Hospital, with only a few notable exceptions, as part of our efforts to reduce the chances of COVID-19, or any other infection spreading to our vulnerable patients.

Vetta Online’s operations manager, Shaun Fisher was keen to support the South Canterbury community, especially with connectivity.

The Timaru internet company, Vetta Online, provided the South Canterbury DHB with four tablets to help connect the patients receiving care at the Timaru Hospital with their families, whanau and friends.

Shaun Fisher, says being hospitalised is an experience we would all rather do without. However, with the COVID-19 visitor restrictions, patients might be feeling more anxious and lonelier than normal.

“Patients can use the devices now and, in the future, to communicate and video call their loved ones and generally stay connected and informed, when physical visiting is not possible during this trying time.”

Dr Catherine D'Souza, from the South Canterbury DHB says technology is helping those who are unwell, and anyone with a loved one in hospital, to remain in contact with each other while staying in their bubbles.

“We, and the patients, are very grateful for the support received during this pandemic from Vetta Online, the donated tablets will allow patients, families, whanau and friends to be together in the safest way possible.

Media contact:

Karen Berry
Communications Manager
South Canterbury District Health Board
P: 03 687 2395 | M: 021 139 7442