Taking care of your health
Together, we are reimaging healthcare to deliver the most progressive, pro-active and equitable health and wellbeing service in New Zealand.
Why enrolling with a health centre (general practice) is important
Healthcare sometimes use words that people are not familiar with, so please note that the term General Practitioner is the name for a doctor who takes care of all your healthcare needs outside of hospital. The place they work is called a general practice. Some people also refer to general practice as their local doctor or their family doctor.
It's important to enrol with a general practice so when you get sick, or have an injury, there's a team who know you and are ready to help you with your healthcare needs.
You get the best healthcare when you have an ongoing relationship with the same group of doctors and nurses and when your full medical records are available. It can be much harder to get preventative care and advice when you are not enrolled in one single healthcare centre.
Benefits of enrolling with a general practice
There are many benefits to enrolling with a general practice (local health centre). These are:
- Children under the age of 14 get free healthcare
- You pay less when you are an enrolled patient
- You get subsidised medicine when it is prescribed for you; $5 per medicine. Medication can be picked up from any pharmacy in NZ
- Free interpretation services can be provided (with prior arrangement) if language is a barrier to accessing your healthcare
- Access to free health programmes such as quit smoking or fitness
- Free medical advice after hours, on weekends and public holidays
- Community services card holders can get reduced fees when visiting a general practice
- If you have had an accident your treatment may be free thanks to cover from ACC
How to enrol
When you have decided which general practice (healthcare centre/local doctor) you would like to enrol with it is a good idea to call them to check if they are open to new patients and ask them how you can enrol. Some practices have enrolment information on their practice website. You can also find out the eligibility criteria for publicly funded health services here.
When you enrol/register you will need to provide identification that confirms your identity and residency status.
If you are changing general practices, your medical records will be transferred to your new practice upon completion of enrolment forms.
Please note you can only enrol with one general practice, and if you meet the enrollment criteria, the cost of your visit and prescription medicines will be lower as the government pays some of the cost. General practices normally charge a higher fee to casual patients or patients that aren't enrolled with their practice.