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Enrolling with your local doctor

Enrolling with your local doctor will save you money and help keep you and your family healthy.

Why enrol?

Enrolment is easy, costs nothing and benefits you, your family and your community.

When you enrol, you pay less for visits to your regular doctor and you pay just $5 for each subsidised medicine the doctor prescribes for you.

In addition to this:

  • You will have access to free interpretation services if you need them. (Metropolitan Auckland area only)
  • Your doctor’s practice will help you take part in prevention programmes, such as cervical and breast screening, and it will send you immunisation reminders for your children
  • The practice will help you to manage conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure and to address other health-related issues, such as smoking, to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

Because you and your doctor will probably be seeing each other for a number of years, you should choose a doctor and a practice you feel comfortable with. Remember to ask about the fees the practice charges.

People who have strong relationships with their doctors and general practice teams tend to be diagnosed more quickly and spend less time in hospital.

Who can enrol?

If you are a New Zealand citizen (this includes people from the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau) or resident, you are eligible for the full range of publicly funded health and disability services.

This is also generally the case if you hold a residence class visa; you hold a work visa that allows you to stay in New Zealand for at least two consecutive years; or you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident staying in New Zealand for two years or more.

International students are not eligible to enrol and should make sure they have medical insurance. 

If you are not eligible to enrol, you will still find it useful to register with a doctor as a non-enrolled patient at that general practice. Registration does not entitle you to cheaper visits or to subsidised medicines, but it does bring many of the other benefits of enrolling such as building up a relationship with a family doctor who can support you and your family’s needs.

How to enrol?

If you are eligible, enrolling is easy – and free.

It can take up to three months for enrolment to take place, so it is a good idea to enrol now, even if you are completely healthy.

Contact the health provider you prefer and ask if they are accepting more patients. When you enrol, take along any forms of identification and medical records you are asked for. If you are changing general practices, your medical records will be transferred to your new practice once you have completed your enrolment form.

Enrolling is an investment in a healthy future for you and your family.

Find out more on our Healthcare Services page.

Healthcare Services


A guide to eligibility for publicly funded health services is on the Ministry of Health website:

Ministry of health

To find a doctor near you:


For free advice about health matters, call Healthline:

0800 611 116

To get trusted health information:

Health Navigator

For health information in other languages:

Heath Ed

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