If you’re sick and it’s not an emergency, you should visit a family doctor (or ‘general practitioner’ – GP) or nurse at your usual general practice.

Choose your general practice

In Aotearoa New Zealand, you can choose the doctor or general practice that you visit.

You can search Healthpoint for general practices. You can filter your search based on their hours, location, services and if they are enrolling new patients.

GPs — Healthpoint(external link)

You can search the Medical Council's register to find out whether a doctor is currently registered and is able to practise in New Zealand, as well as other public information.  

Register of doctors —  Medical Council of New Zealand(external link)

Sometimes a general practice will not take on new patients. If this happens, they should refer you to their public health office (PHO) for help finding another practice. The PHO may put you on a waitlist, and arrange for you to get care in the meantime. You can also search Healthpoint PHOs.


It is free to enrol with a general practice. But they may charge a consultation fee each time you go to see them after that.

General practices normally charge a higher fee if you are not enrolled with their practice. This is often called a casual rate. 

If you enrol with a general practice your care will be subsidised. This means you will pay a reduced consultation fee. 

General practices can only enrol you if you are eligible for publicly funded health services. When you enrol you may be asked to show proof. This could include a passport or birth certificate. You will be asked to sign an enrolment form. 

Eligibility for publicly funded healthcare — Health New Zealand(external link)

Your medical records

Your medical record is kept with the general practice you are enrolled with. But any health professional involved in your care can look at your record. You can ask to look at your record at any time.

Your rights and privacy

What you will pay

General practices are private businesses. They set their own fees for visits and other health services they provide. 

The cost of a visit will be lower if you are enrolled with the practice. This is because the Government subsidises the fee for enrolled patients.

For a list of practices and their fees, check the website of your local primary health organisation.

Primary health organisations — Health New Zealand(external link)


All tamariki aged 13 and under who are eligible for publicly funded health services, are eligible for free doctor visits and more.

List of fees and subsidies

Care Plus

Care Plus funding is provided to general practices to improve chronic care management, reduce inequalities, improve primary health care teamwork and reduce the cost of services for high-need patients.

If you have a long-term health condition or a terminal illness, you may be eligible for Care Plus

Claims, provider payments, subsidies and entitlements you can apply for throught Health NZ

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