School, health centre up to speed

Ultrafast broadband being rolled out to Havelock Schoolat a cost of $100,000 is set to mutually benefit a neighbouring health centre.

Ultrafast fibre cables were laid at the school on Monday as part of a government programme to bolster home and business connectivity.

Havelock Medical Centre, located opposite the school, will benefit from the wireless connection in return for sharing the cost.

Staff at the school and health centre have been frustrated by the slow internet connection.

As a result of ultrafast fibre the school will be able to increase its data capture, cut down on administration hours and give students improved access to Ministry of Education applications.

At the health centre, doctors will be able to print out prescriptions quicker, it will reduce the hours doctors spend on administration and streamline e-health cohesion. As technology develops it is expected doctors will be able to view X-rays online.

Havelock School principal Ernie Buutveld said the partnership with the medical centre was cost-effective for both.

"The Government made a commitment that schools would get ultrafast broadband and where possible the rest of the community should be able to make use of it," he said.

"No-one in Havelock had fast fibre and with the school and health centre being so close we were a great combination to benefit."

Havelock Medical Centre is the satellite medical centre of Springlands Health in Blenheim and both depend on connectivity to share patient records. In the past a slow connection meant it took staff up to four minutes to print out a prescription.

Springlands Health practice manager Lis Johnston said ultrafast fibre was great news for the Havelock practice. "We thought we had missed out until Havelock School came to our rescue," she said. "It is great news, we thought it would take another 10 years for this to happen."

The Marlborough Express