Health Info for Migrants and Refugees
Are you new to New Zealand? Are you finding it difficult to navigate our heath system or find the healthcare and services you need?There is help for migrants and refugees - you just need to know where to look. Check out the information here and follow the links to get more help. See our links for migrants and refugees and other health resources on our Resources and Links page.
HealthlineIf you need immediate health advice, especially if you don't have a family doctor yet, call Healthline on
0800 611 116 to speak to a nurse. It’s free and available 24/7. If English isn’t your first language, there are interpreters who can help.
Patient RightsAs a patient you have rights; the right to be informed about your health care and the treatment offered, to make informed decisions, to be respected, and to receive services of an appropriate standard. To find out more about your rights as a patient see the Code of Rights.
ACC - no-fault compensation for accidental injury
ACC's no-fault scheme covers everyone in New Zealand if you're injured in an accident. The scheme covers children, beneficiaries, students, if you’re working, unemployed or retired. It also includes visitors to New Zealand if they're injured while they're here.
No-fault cover means it doesn't matter what you were doing when you were injured or who was at fault. We'll cover you, as long as the injury falls within our legislation.
The cover provided helps pay for costs to get you back on your feet. It includes payment towards medical bills, treatment, help at home and work and help with your income. If you're injured in an accident, go to see your doctor or health provider first. They can make a claim for you. Claims can be made up to 12 months after your injury. ACC may still consider claims made after this time if there’s a good reason for the claim not being made sooner.
If you don't have a family doctor or GP (General Practitioner) yet, or your doctor is closed and you need urgent care, there are local Accident and Medical (A&M) clinics which are open extended hours. To find the closest A&M clinic to you go to Healthpoint and search for your region..
You should attend an A&M clinic for minor to moderate (non-life threatening) injuries and sports injuries, illness and conditions like asthma. Some A&M clinics also offer dentistry.
You don't need an appointment to attend an A&M clinic, but if they are busy you may have to wait to see a health practitioner. Generally you have to pay to attend an A&M clinic. But, free or low cost care may be available for:
Emergency Services/Ambulance and Hospital Emergency DepartmentEmergency Services and St John's Ambulance
If you have a medical emergency, such as a life threatening illness or injury, ring 111.
You will be asked which service you require; ask for an ambulance. You will be put through to St John ambulance and asked questions about what is wrong with you (or your family member) and where you are. The St John's call centre will assess you situation and if you have a life threatening health problem they will send an ambulance to provide immediate first aid and life sustaining health care before transporting you to the nearest hospital.
To find out more about what happens when you call 111 visit the St John's website to watch a video.
What is a medical emergency?
What should you do?
Going to Hospital
You can also take yourself or your family member to the accident and emergency (A&E - also called ED) department of your nearest hospital. You don’t need a referral in an emergency to attend hospital, but if you have attended an after-hours (A&M) clinic first you may get a referral to speed up your processing once arriving at hospital.
Go need to go a hospital A&E if you have a serious injury or accident, severe blood loss, a heart attack or stroke, a head injury, or serious illness.
Hospitals provide what is known as secondary care services, and this includes visiting the emergency department, surgery, appointments, or assistance with maintaining your health if you have a chronic illness, like diabetes or kidney disease where you might need regular visits to the hospital for dialysis.
All these services are fully subsidised, or free for New Zealanders.
Healthpoint will help you find your nearest hospital if you need to go to accident and emergency.