Programme Support

The Ministry of Health and the Canterbury DHB fund several programmes aimed at helping people get the most out of their primary health care provider to enable them to look after themselves better. This is especially important for those with chronic or long term health conditions. The following programmes are coordinated through Pegasus Health and are available through most primary healthcare providers.



Services to Improve Access (SIA) – This flexible funding is available to assist people with the greatest need to access general practice, including extended consultations, home visits, transportation, and access to diagnostics. Partnership Community Workers support patients to link with general practice and other services. To find our more about Partnership Community Workers, how to contact them and to locate referral  and feedback forms, please click here.

Mammography – If an asymptomatic woman enrolled in a Pegasus practice has been diagnosed with breast cancer as a result of routine screening, this funding provides a free visit with her GP to discuss treatment options.

Healthy Housing – To help keep people well and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions we are working with Canterbury District Health Board, Community Energy Action, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority and Environment Canterbury on the Healthy Housing collaborative initiative. This is funding assistance for insulation and heating to people whose health is compromised by a cold home.

GP Care – This is a joint initiative between Pegasus and the Christchurch Methadone Programme and aims to support Pegasus’ gazetted GPs in maintaining a high quality and safe service for patients on methadone. This includes reintegrating long-term stable patients back into the community by providing them with treatment within the primary care setting.

End of Life Care – This programme funds GP consultations for patients with terminal illness in their final months of life. GPs are also provided with access to 24 hour support and advice from on call doctors with palliative care expertise.

Cervical Screening – Priority Group Women
There is some funding available to support women considered to be in a high priority group to have regular cervical smears. You may be eligible for a free cervical smear at your general practice if you fall into one of the following groups:

  • Maori women - Aged 20 to 69 years
  • Pacific women - Aged 20 to 69 years
  • Asian women - Aged 20 to 69 years
  • All women - Aged 30-69 years who have never had a smear
  • All women - Aged 30-69 years who have not had a smear for 5 years


Stop Smoking Support - There are now many options for support for people who want to stop smoking. The Smokefree Canterbury website has information on local stop smoking support providers. PEGS is Pegasus Health's stop smoking support programme delivered in general practices. Once registered on PEGS, patients receive up to 6 FREE support sessions either face-to-face or over the phone. Practices can offer behavioural support,
material, information about and prescription of cessation medications. 

Appetite for Life Courses – This award winning six-week programme helps people make healthy food choices and boost activity levels for improved health and well being. The courses are designed for people who are fed up with the 'yo-yo' cycle of dieting and want to feel normal around food. It will also be of benefit to any person wanting to improve their health or that of their whanau. For more information visit the website.

Green Prescription – If a patient would benefit from being more active as part of their total health plan, they may be given a Green Prescription by their general practice team. The programme offers up to four months’ follow up, phone support and advice from Sport Canterbury.

Alcohol – We are working as part of the Alcohol Harm Advisory Committee (AHAC), formed by the Canterbury District Health Board Clinical Board to address and minimise alcohol-related harm in Canterbury. The Alcohol Harm Minimisation Coordinator is working with others to facilitate a range of collaborative projects.

Immunisations (National Schedule) – Immunisation is one of the most cost effective and successful preventative health measures known, second only to clean water, and provides both individual and population-wide protection for vaccine preventable diseases. In Canterbury contact your general practice team, they can assist with all aspects of immunisation. 

The National Immunisation Schedule is the series of publicly funded vaccines given in childhood. It is very important that vaccines are given at the correct time to protect vulnerable people, especially children, from disease. For more information contact your general practice team or go to

Influenza - or flu - is a major threat to health worldwide because it can spread rapidly through families and communities. Anyone over 6 months old can receive the influenza vaccine. The vaccine is available from your general practice from 1 March each year and is free for the following groups:

  • People over 65 years
  • Nationally children under 18 are funded for Influenza vacine if they have a medically eligible condition:
    • Heart disease
    • Respiratory disease
    • Diabetes
    • Kidney disease
    • Cancer
    • Other conditions (eg HIV, transplant recipients, etc.)
    • Pregnant women

Pertussis Vaccine for Pregnant Women – Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease that can seriously harm unvaccinated infants and children, especially newborn babies. If you are pregnant, get vaccinated. Between 31 and 33 weeks is the ideal time to pass the best protection to your unborn baby. The Vaccine is subsidised for pregnant women from 28-38 weeks gestation. Women who have premature births and have not had the vaccine are no longer subsidised. Breastfed babies get additional protection through their mother's milk from two weeks after she has been vaccinated. Ask your Lead Maternity Carer or your general practice team for more information.

Long Term Conditions

Diabetes – The Diabetes Care Improvement package (CDIP) assists general practice teams to support patients who have diabetes. Eligible patients need to be correctly identified to allow GPs to use funding to improve diabetes care for the patients in the most appropriate way.

Podiatry – Foot care is an important part of managing health for people with diabetes. People at risk of developing foot complications due to their diabetes may get up to eight free podiatrist vists a year, depending on their condition.

Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – General practice involvement is very important in the diagnosis, management and education of people with asthma and COPD. Support and advice for GPs is provided by community respiratory facilitators and the Community Respiratory Physician - see more information on Canterbury Initiative Support Services. For more information for patients, visit the HealthInfo website.

Care Plus – Patients who have chronic health conditions, serious medical or mental health needs, or terminal illness who don’t have a High User Health Card may be eligible for Care Plus funding. This funding can be used in a variety of ways by the general practice team, including subsidising consultation fees, dietitian advice, specialist equipment, etc.

Child and Youth Health

female doctor childB4 School Check – This is the last Well Child Tamariki Ora health check and is delivered by practice nurses for four-year-old children. This check is free and helps to make sure that the child is healthy and can learn well at school.

The National Immunisation Schedule is the series of publicly funded vaccines given in childhood. It is very important that vaccines are given at the correct time to protect vulnerable people, especially children, from disease. For more information contact your general practice team or go to

Influenza – In Canterbury children and youth under 18 years of age are eligible for a free influenza immunisation.

Child Health Support Service – This service aims to improve the health, social, behavioural needs and well being of children aged 0-14 years. We act as an extension of the general practice team, offering a home visit to understand needs, provide information and link families and caregivers to services and agencies for ongoing support.

Oral Health – Dental disease is the most widespread, long-term, irreversible disease in New Zealand. The Oral Health project targets children under five years old from groups with poorer oral health outcomes. The Oral Health Promoters have developed a host of resources in various languages, working with general practice teams, early childhood education providers, parenting and pregnancy groups to spread simple oral health messages, as well as connecting children with the free Community Dental service.

Adolescents are also encouraged to connect with health care providers and groups that work with young people; the team work with partners to run education sessions and attend community events.

Partnership Community Workers (PCWs) are working with Nurse Maude Association to support the School Based Health Service to get students the care they need.

Youth Sexual Health – this funding is for free sexual health consultations with general practice teams for youths aged 20 and under. The programme aims to promote the sexual health of young people and reduce sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.

HPV (Cervical Cancer) Vaccine – HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is very common and can cause genital warts, cervical cancer and other cancers. The HVP vaccine is free for girls and young women up to their 20th birthday. It is available from your general practice or Family Planning centre and is part of the National Immunisation Schedule for girls at 11 years. For more information contact your general practice or go to