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HealthInfo West Coast-Te Tai Poutini

Getting medical help if you are new to the West Coast

Doctor's visitIf you're new to the West Coast, 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. The West Coast PHO website gives you more information.

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.

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.

The West Coast PHO website 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 Ministry of Health website describes how the New Zealand healthcare system works.

Information provided by the Canterbury DHB. Adapted by the West Coast DHB. Last reviewed September 2015. Last updated December 2018.

Page reference: 208691

Review key: HISNY-105442