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Health services


For life threatening health emergencies free phone 111 for an ambulance.

Ka ora Telecare is a service provided to people living in rural areas, like Ashburton, and it connects you with a health care professional for afterhours medical advice and treatment.  It is available from 5pm to 8 am on weekdays and 24 hours in weekends and public holidays. You can call 0800 252 672, talk to a nurse or schedule an appointment online through their website or by phone.  Find out more information about prices on their website.

For non-life threatening or after-hours health situations phone your local (General Practice, or GP) or you can phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 to speak to a registered nurse.

If you are a visa holder and it allows you to stay in New Zealand for two or more years, you are eligible to enrol with a medical centre.  If this is not your case, you will have to pay full price when using health services.

This is an important step in your relocation process. We recommend taking care of it as soon as possible.

For regular health and medical care, it is a good idea to register the whole family with a general practice. The doctor is also known as a general practitioner, or GP. Most general practices are part of a Primary Health Organisation (PHO) which allows patients to receive cheaper doctor’s visits and reduced costs of prescription medicines. You can ask your local general practice if they are part of a PHO. Children under the age of 14 years can visit the doctor for free.

In Ashburton town we have five clinics and one in Methven and in Rakaia. To get support enrolling with a GP, you can contact the clinic directly or ask for help to the Hakatere Multi Cultural Council

Ashburton Hospital provides secondary level emergency, this means when you need urgent care after hours.  They also offer general surgical and maternity services with a range of inpatient, day patient, outpatient and community health services. Tertiary level care or emergency services are provided by Christchurch or Timaru hospitals.

The Ashburton Hospital is located on 28 Elizabeth Street and their phone number is 03 307 8450.

Ashburton has an attended base for St John paramedics with Methven providing a volunteer St Johns service.  To get in touch with an ambulance, call 111 and ask the operator for an ambulance.  When you need paramedics support, you will have to give them your location, make sure you have the address handy when you call.

The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides personal injury cover for all New Zealand citizens, residents and temporary visitors to New Zealand.

This means that if you have an accident or injure yourself, the cost of visiting a doctor may be partially covered by the government.

To make a claim to ACC, you need to be treated by a doctor, physiotherapist, emergency provider and they will help you fill in the right form to register your claim.

Dental care is free for people under 18 years of age. Children have to be citizens, permanent residents or have a parent or primary caregiver on a 2-year work visa (consecutive), to be eligible for free dental care.

Call 0800 Talk Teeth (0800 825 583) for help with:

  • enrolling your child into the free dental care programme and
  • finding a dentist near you who has a contract with Te Whatu Ora (if your child is past primary school age).

If you are over 18 years of age you will need to pay for dental care.

New Zealand citizens and residents on low or moderate incomes may qualify for a ‘Community Services Card’ which makes doctors’ visits cheaper.