Drive-thru doctors to modernise 'out of date' NZ practices

Drive-thru medical care at the same speed as fast food could soon be a reality in New Zealand.

Dr Lance O'Sullivan plans to build two in New Zealand before the end of the year to help modernise a service he says is "out of date". 

The mobile medical centre will be built in a 40-foot shipping container. 

The first one is being fitted out in China. Once it's ready, it will take one month get here and then it will be sent straight to the Kmart car park in Rotorua.

People can drive up and have their assessment done in one window, providing drive-thru medical care in less than five minutes. 

It's Dr Lance O'Sullivan's innovative idea, similar to what is available in America, to help plug a gap in the health system back here. 

"People want things faster, more convenient. It's a logical progression of a service that's out of date," he told Newshub.  

"We can say this is a virus, you have pneumonia, you need to go to hospital, there's so much scope for doing things so much smarter," he continued.

The plan is to build 199 more just like it and place them in supermarket car parks around the country.

FoodStuffs say "there are clearly some logistics and operational needs, but we'd be keen to explore how we might be able to support initiatives like this". 

But first Dr O'Sullivan wants Government funding. 

"Obviously it's an idea at this stage, we're open at looking at new ideas," said health minister David Clarke

But some say Government money would be better spent on underfunded District Health Boards.

"What it's trying to achieve is what our DHB's should be doing, and Government should be doing it themselves," said health union boss Ian Powell.

But if it doesn't take hold here, the concept could be used to provide health care overseas in places likes the Pacific Islands.