All hospital visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask. For more information about visiting: Visitors and family. See our COVID-19 page for general COVID-19 advice, detailed hospital visiting guidelines and COVID-19 tests.

See West Coast COVID-19 vaccination clinics for info on vaccinations link COVID-19 Vaccination • West Coast • Healthpoint

Last updated:
16 September 2022

Fewer visitor restrictions now apply

For visitors to all facilities (effective from and last updated on 16 September 2022)

Some visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Te Tai o Poutini West Coast health facilities remain in place, but we have relaxed others.

There is still a heightened risk to vulnerable people in hospital and so people must continue to wear a mask when visiting any of our facilities and follow other advice designed to keep patients, staff and other visitors safe.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is to keep everybody safe:

  • Visitors or support people must not visit our facilities if they are unwell. Do not visit if you have recently tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t completed your isolation period.
  • Patients in single rooms may have more than one visitor while patients in multi-bed rooms can have one visitor only per patient to ensure there is no overcrowding.
  • People can have one or two support people to accompany them to outpatients appointments.
  • Women in labour in a birthing suite, in Te Nīkau Hospital’s Maternity Ward and in Buller’s Kawatiri Maternity Unit can have the usual support people, subject to space, for the duration of their stay in our facilities.
  • Eating or drinking at the bedside is at the discretion of the Clinical Nurse Manager. Visitors must not eat or drink in multibed rooms because of the increased risk when multiple people remove their mask in the same space.
  • Hand sanitiser is available and must be used.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as our staff work hard to protect and care for some of the most vulnerable in our community.

Mask wearing

  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all sites, except in counselling, mental health and addiction services where it’s on a case-by-case agreement with patients. Masks will be provided if you don’t have one. In higher-risk environments, people, including young children, may not be able to visit if they cannot wear a mask.
  • Any member of the public with a mask exemption is welcome in all our facilities when attending to receive health care and *treatment. Please show your mask exemption card and appointment letter to staff at the entrance. *Treatment includes coming into the Emergency Department, outpatient appointments, surgery or a procedure.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • People are able to visit patients who have COVID-19 but they must wear an N95 mask – this will be provided if you don’t have one.
  • Other methods of communication will be facilitated e.g. phone, Facetime, Zoom, WhatsApp etc where visits aren’t possible.

You must NOT visit our facilities if you

  • are COVID-19 positive
  • are unwell. Please stay home if you have a tummy bug or cold or flu/COVID-19-like symptoms (even if you’ve tested negative for COVID-19).

Te Whatu Ora West Coast Aged Residential Care facilities

Visitors are welcome at our Aged Care Residential facilities, subject to the space available. All visitors must wear a surgical mask.

More COVID-19 information

In an emergency, call 111.
If your child is sick contact your local health clinic, or call 0800 611 116 for advice after hours.
For online advice about common child health issues, visit Healthinfo.


Enrol at a health clinic

Enrolling your child at a clinic means visits will be cheaper when you need to take them to see a doctor or nurse. The clinic you enrol with will also receive your child’s health records, so they will already know a lot of relevant information when your tamariki gets sick.

Find out how to enrol by calling or visiting your local health clinic. Find your nearest clinic on the West Coast Primary Health Organisation website.


Free doctor and nurse visits for under-13s

Children under 13 get free visits at most general practices, including for after-hours care. Most prescriptions are also free.

From December 2018, these services will be free for children under 14.


Well Child Tamariki Ora and B4 School Checks

Well Child Tamariki Ora is a free programme providing a series of free health visits and support for families with children up to 5 years old.

The final visit is called the B4 School Check, and all children should have this check before they turn 5. Visit the West Coast B4 School checks Facebook page, or talk to your local health clinic or West Coast Primary Health Organisation for more information.


Free and safe immunisation

Immunisation (vaccination) is the best way to protect your child against many dangerous diseases. It is safe, and can stop your child getting very sick. The Ministry of Health has information about safe immunisation during pregnancy, and free immunisations for children and teenagers.


Breastfeeding support

For information about breastfeeding support and free services, visit West Coast Primary Health Organisation’s Breastfeeding page and the West Coast Breastfeeding Facebook page.


Free tooth care for kids

Children and teenagers up to 18 years old can get free or discounted dental care. Find out more about oral health services for kids.

Page last updated: 5 August 2020

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