Advice on all aspects of healthcare, whether or not you have COVID-19.
On this page
- When to seek medical advice
- Accessing healthcare during Alert Levels 3 or 4
- Getting routine care and repeat prescriptions
- Accessing healthcare outside your local area
- If you are at risk, or have someone at risk in your household
- If you are due to give birth while we’re at Alert Level 3 or 4
- Find the latest health information
When to seek medical advice
If you need urgent medical assistance for severe symptoms of any kind, or have a serious injury, call emergency services on 111, or go straight to hospital.
If you are concerned about any aspect of your health, contact your GP. Minor health issues can become more serious if ignored and it is important that you have the treatments and medications you need. Your doctor would rather you call than silently worry at home.
If you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 through contact with someone who has it, it’s important to let your family doctor know when you call.
For any other health concerns, call the general Healthline number on 0800 611 116. All calls to Healthline are free and someone is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call Plunketline if you have questions about your child or baby’s health or wellbeing on 0800 933 922 and speak to a Plunket nurse. Plunketline runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Contact your midwife for support and advice during pregnancy and postnatally.
If you don’t have a medical need
Please only call Healthline, or your doctor, when you need medical assistance. If your call is not directly related to medical assistance, you may be able to find answers to your questions on this website.
Accessing healthcare during Alert Levels 3 or 4
During Alert Levels 3 and 4, medical centres and hospitals are still open. You can access all the treatments, vaccinations and medicines that you need to stay well, whether or not you have COVID-19.
If you are concerned about any aspect of your health, call your GP. Your doctor may offer you a consultation by text, email, phone or video. This is to stop person-to-person contact. If, however, your doctor feels you need a consultation in person, this will be organised for you.
You are allowed out during Alert Levels 3 and 4 to access medical support. You can drive to a medical centre or hospital. Just call first so you know what to do when you get there. For example, you may be asked to use a particular entrance, or to wait outside in your car until you are called.
Getting routine care and repeat prescriptions
Phone your medical centre if you need a routine appointment or a repeat prescription for your regular medication. Your doctor may wish to support you without seeing you face to face.
Pharmacies are recognised as an essential service and will remain open, even in Alert Level 4. If you need to go to your local pharmacy for medication, phone them first to make sure you can go in-store.
If you are an at-risk group you may need to ask someone to pick up your medicines on your behalf.
Accessing healthcare outside your local area
If your doctor has advised that you need to travel outside of your area for specialist healthcare, you may do so during Alert Levels 3 and 4. However, your doctor may decide that you can defer treatment, or have a virtual consultation instead.
If you do need to travel to a medical appointment outside your area, your doctor may advise you take a support person with you to provide physical help, or to help you make healthcare decisions. However, you should consider whether you can be supported remotely, for example by phone.
Anyone under 18 years of age may take a parent, whānau member or caregiver to the appointment.
For most of us, we should take just 1 support person from our existing household group (or bubble) to our medical appointment. However, some of us (for example pregnant women) may need to have up to 2 support people. Ask your health provider for advice.
If you do need to travel outside your local area, ask your doctor for a letter to confirm your appointment, and take this with you on your journey.
If you are at risk, or have someone at risk in your household
You are at high risk if you are over 70, pregnant or have underlying health conditions.
People with underlying health conditions include those with liver disease, cancer, kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, respiratory issues or those with a compromised immune system, or who are on immunosuppressant medications.
If you are self-isolating because you have been in contact with a confirmed or probable case, and you live with an older or vulnerable person, you should reduce close contact with that person.
If you are due to give birth while we’re at Alert Level 3 or 4
This may impact the way you receive medical care if you are pregnant or have recently given birth.
During your pregnancy, face-to-face check-ups may be reduced. Your midwife will still make contact with you over the phone or by video call.
When you give birth, maternity facilities will have restrictions on the number of visitors and support people you can have with you.
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, inform your midwife or midwifery practice.
Find the latest health information
Are you or your whānau unwell? The best ways to get support are to:
- call your family doctor for advice or information on all aspects of your health. If you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 through contact with someone who has it, it’s important to let your family doctor know.
- call the dedicated COVID-19 Healthline number with any COVID-19 health-related concerns on 0800 358 5453. If you’re outside New Zealand call +64 9 358 5453.
- you can also call the general Healthline number on 0800 611 116 for any other health concerns. All calls to Healthline are free and someone is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- call Plunketline if you have questions about your child or baby’s health or wellbeing on 0800 933 922 and speak to a Plunket nurse. Plunketline runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- contact your midwife for support and advice during pregnancy and postnatally.
- In an emergency, always call 111.