Telehealth Guidelines: COVID-19 Response

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted physiotherapists to develop and deliver telehealth services for patients/clients and whānau. 

The immediate provision of quality services to patients/clients and whānau was met whilst developing a sustainable telehealth service model. Workflow management systems, patient needs, technology, the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand’s telehealth standards, ethical and cultural issues, audit requirements, policy and practice guidelines have all been considered. 

Key Documents

AHANZ: Best practice guide for telehealth

PNZ contributed to the development of these guidelines. Examples of patient consent forms can be found at the end of the guidelines. 

PBNZ Telehealth Standard

ACC Telehealth criteria. The guidance on the secure use of Zoom remains relevant. 

During COVID-19 Alert Level 4, the Physiotherapy Board and ACC allowed the use of telephone telehealth for patients, clients and whānau who are unable to use video conference platforms. ACC now recognize that telehealth is an acceptable way to deliver clinically appropriate health services to clients who are in a separate location from the provider. ACC expect telephone consultations will only be used when other alternatives are not available or clinically appropriate.   

NZ Telehealth Resource Centre 

BMS cover for telehealth consultations.

Insurance cover works exactly the same way as for usual consultations, so long as services are being provided within your usual region (i.e. not outside of New Zealand) and so long as the physiotherapist is working within their scope of practice. 

Other telehealth resources

Helpful tips from University of Otago's School of Physiotherapy, who have been using telehealth for a while now in their student clinics (Physio Matters April 2020: page 18).

Southern DHB telehealth guide developed by Miranda Buhler in response to COVID-19 with weekly updates including up to date information from MoH and ACC.

From the WCPT: A Telehealth Toolbox guide on How to use telehealth to care for your patients during COVID-19.

Webinar resources   

Telehealth for Physiotherapists: Angela Cadogan on helping physiotherapists get started in telehealth. 

Dr Mark Fulcher from Axis Sports Medicine Specialists has developed the following webinars and made them available publicly:

The Auckland Branch of Sports Medicine New Zealand have shared their webinar titled Can Telehealth replace Traditional Care? with Professor Chad Cook from Duke University.

Patient information

Health Navigator: What is telehealth? A brief guide for whānau is a useful guide to share with patients and clients regarding receiving services via telehealth.

This is a living document. Any comments, suggestions, updates, additional resources, please email to

Page updated January 2024