Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has selected clinics from all over the country to be part of an onshore panel physician network that will complete immigration medical examinations for onshore New Zealand visa applicants.
A total of 72 medical clinics, 54 radiology clinics and eight clinics that offer both services have been invited to join the onshore panel physician network and use a new system known as eMedical, which allows physicians to submit medical certificates and x-rays online. The selection of the panel physician network follows a procurement process, which began late last year.
eMedical , which was developed by Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection and Citizenship and Immigration Canada, has already been rolled out to more than 470 clinics in 121 countries.
INZ currently receives around 120,000 medical certificates a year. About half of those come from onshore applicants.
INZ General Manager Stephen Dunstan says that eMedical is expected to replace 100 per cent of paper-based medical certificates onshore. “eMedical is a significant change to the way we process health information for our applicants,” he says. “eMedical supports INZ’s move to online applications and provides a more secure and efficient process for submitting immigration medicals.”
Once the onshore panel physician network is established on 31st March, visa applicants in New Zealand will need to visit a doctor or radiologist listed by INZ for their immigration medical examinations.
Clinics that are not on the panel will still be able to submit paper-based medicals until 30thJune, giving them a three-month transition period to adjust their business models.
“We have ensured that clinics have been selected in the main centres as well as in regions where there are large migrant populations,” Dunstan says. “But clinics not selected will have an opportunity to be appointed to the panel should further capacity be required.”
Mr Dunstan says that INZ will be constantly reviewing the number and location of immigration medicals throughout New Zealand and the world and will make any changes necessary to ensure that customers continue to receive the best service possible.
There is no cost to clinics to be part of the onshore panel and to use eMedical, so there should be no increase to the cost of medical examinations.