Your general practice (GP) team is your first point of contact for health advice or care. GP teams provide community-based, primary health care for patients, including diagnosis, management and treatment of health conditions. They can also refer you for further tests (x-rays, blood tests, ultrasounds), hospital or specialist treatment if needed.
You and your whānau/family can use a number of health and wellbeing services when you are enrolled with a GP team. Many of these services are free. The best thing you can do for your health and wellbeing is to enrol with a GP team.
Benefits of enrolling with a general practice
It’s a good idea to enrol with a practice before you get unwell. Enrolling is free.
By enrolling, you and your family will have access to a range of services, including:
- expert advice and check-ups
- cheaper GP visits (free for under 14s)
- cheaper prescriptions (free for under 14s)
- healthy lifestyle advice, including support to help you quit smoking
- support with health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure
- ongoing vaccination and health screening check reminders.
Find out about the benefits of enrolment (PDF) and some of the services available through a general practice under Services for Patients.
Find a general practice
Use our Find a general practice tool to find a Pegasus Health practice near you. Search results will show contact details for practices in your area, whether they are currently accepting new patients and what (if any) additional languages they speak. You can also see whether they accept Community Services Cards.
How to enrol with a general practice
To enrol with a practice, you will need to complete an enrolment form. Some practices make their enrolment forms available to download from their websites. For others, you may have to contact or visit the practice directly.
Practices can only enrol people who are eligible for publicly funded health services. When you enrol, you may be asked to show proof of eligibility – such as your passport or birth certificate. If you’re unsure about whether you’re eligible for publicly funded health services, check the Ministry of Health’s – Guide to eligibility for publicly funded health services.
How much does it cost to visit a GP?
Fees vary between practices. Generally, the fee you pay when you visit a GP will depend on whether you are enrolled with that practice. GPs will usually charge a higher fee, often called a casual rate, for patients that aren’t enrolled at their practice.
For children under the age of 13 who are enrolled with the practice, visits are usually free. Some services are also subsidised for eligible patients.
Each practice displays their fees information on their website. Use our Find a general practice tool to find your practice’s website and contact details.
Urgent care – If you’re feeling unwell, call your GP team 24/7
Unless it’s an emergency (when you should call 111), always make your general practice team your first call when you or someone in your family is sick.
You can call your general practice team 24/7 – just phone your usual general practice number. After hours your call will be answered by a registered nurse who can advise on what to do, and where to go if you need to be seen by a doctor.
If you are directed to the 24 Hour Surgery for care, it is located at 401 Madras Street, Christchurch. You can phone the 24 Hour Surgery on 03 365 7777. Visit the 24 Hour Surgery website to find out more.
What if I need help finding health care?
Partnership Community Workers (PCWs) can help you:
- enrol at a Pegasus Health General Practice
- get to your doctor/hospital appointments, if transport is a problem for you
- visit Work and Income, if you find it difficult to pay for the doctor
- find other Community Services to support you.
Talk to your general practice about getting help from a PCW. If you don’t have a regular GP, call 03 379 1739 and ask to be put through to the PCW team or use the contact list located on this page to find a PCW near you.
*Only available for those enrolled at or enrolling with a Pegasus Health practice.
For further information about visiting a doctor, visit the Ministry of Health website.