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HealthInfo Canterbury

Getting medical help if you are new to Canterbury

Doctor's visitIf you're new to Canterbury, you should enrol with a general practice. Unless it's an emergency, your general practice team should be your first point of contact for health advice or care. This brochure gives you more information.

When you enrol, you should give permission for your notes to be transferred from your previous GP. You'll need to complete and sign a form that includes personal details such as your name, age, date of birth, address and ethnicity. The privacy of your information is protected by the Privacy Act and the Health Information Privacy Code.

Often the first appointment at a new practice is more expensive but you may be able to get help with this if it’s an issue. Discuss this with the practice.

You're eligible to enrol if you're a New Zealand, Cook Island, Niue or Tokelau citizen. You can also enrol if you're entitled to stay in New Zealand for two years or more – with a work visa for example.

The brochure also provides some information about your eligibility for free or subsidised healthcare. Eligibility for publicly funded health services on the Ministry of Health's website has more details.

By enrolling, you and your family will:

If you're new to New Zealand, the Pegasus Health booklet New Zealand's Health Care System should be useful. It describes how the New Zealand healthcare system works. The link at the bottom of this page also provides the booklet in 14 other languages.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed January 2016. Last updated December 2018.

See also:

New Zealand healthcare system

Page reference: 178996

Review key: HISNY-105442