Hospital visiting guidelines updated 16 September 2022: Hospital visitors must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are not acceptable.  See our COVID-19 page for general COVID-19 advice, detailed hospital visiting guidelines and COVID-19 tests.

See for info on vaccinations.

Last updated:
16 September 2022

Fewer visitor restrictions now apply

For visitors to all facilities effective from 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

Supporting you

If you have concerns about your progress, contact your GP unless your health care team has told you to contact the hospital or Emergency Department.

The West Coast DHB services in the community

These services are available to help you after you go home.

  • Social workers
  • Community nurses
  • District Nurses
  • Oncology nurses
  • Diabetes nurses
  • Dieticians
  • Respiratory nurses
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Quit smoking
  • Meals on wheels
  • Home help

Is health care free?

New Zealand has a world leading health system which makes most services available free (or subsidised) to people who meet requirements.

Some people in New Zealand don’t qualify to have these services paid for by the New Zealand Government and will have to pay for their own healthcare.

How to find out if you qualify for free health services

The Ministry of Health website has provides useful information and advice on eligibility:

Documents required to prove you are entitled to free healthcare:

  • Passport, including permits and visas
  • Birth certificate (if born in New Zealand or Australia); or
  • Confirmation of citizenship; or
  • Confirmation of permanent residency or other residency status
  • Photo identification (if no passport)

Treatment costs for patients who are not entitled to free healthcare

If you are not entitled to free health services, please refer to the hospital treatment fees document below.

Please note: Fees are subject to change, and not all treatment fees are listed. A patient must be eligible at the time they receive health services for those services to be paid for by the government. If a person becomes eligible after accessing health services, that eligibility cannot be backdated.

Fees are reviewed annually.

If you have any queries, please contact the eligibility team.

How to pay


If you are admitted to hospital, the eligibility team will confirm your eligibility and discuss the cost of treatment and payment with you. Staff will give you an invoice before you leave.

We do not invoice insurance companies. We expect you to pay us and claim it back from your insurance company.


You must pay for outpatient services in advance. You can make payments at the Accounts Receivable Office at Grey Base Hospital, or ask at reception at your health facility. The office will give you a receipt, which you need to present at your appointment.

Direct credit payment


Westpac, 89 Mackay Street, Greymouth, New Zealand

Account name

West Coast District Health Board

Account Number

03 0846 0686050 00


WPACNZ2W ( to be used if making payments from overseas)


Please quote your Invoice Number and Customer Number as a reference

Credit card payment

If you wish to pay by MasterCard or Visa, please email: with the following details: Card type, card number and expiry date.

Interpreter services for patients

If English is not your first language or you have hearing loss, you can ask for an interpreter. If we do not have an interpreter available for your language, staff will call one on the phone.

The translation/interpreter service is:

  • Available 24 hours a day
  • FREE of charge
  • Includes most languages, including NZ Sign Language

Services for people with disabilities

Your support person

We encourage you to nominate one support person – a whānau/family member or close friend – to be with you when you need support. Tell staff who your support person is and they will make a note in your care plan.

Your support person might help you during a medical consultation, wait with you before a procedure, assist with your care, or be with you if you are seriously unwell or receiving bad news.

Other staff who can support you

Health Social Workers give free and confidential support services after an accident or illness.

Can help with:

  • Social work assessments
  • Maternity
  • Community rehabilitation
  • Child and family
  • Palliative care
  • Care of older people
  • Completing forms

Dealing with other agencies

Plan your visit

If you have a disability and you are likely to require extra help at hospital, please plan your visit. Telephone before you arrive and ask to speak to the relevant service so we can plan for your needs.

Grey Base Hospital: 03 769 7400
Buller Integrated Health Centre: 03 788 9030

If you need help with hearing, sight or other disabilities, please talk to your nurse.

Hearing loss

Communication cards and NZ Sign Language interpreters are available to help patients with hearing loss.

Visual Impairment

Please tell a staff member so information given to you will be suitable for your needs.


You can find wheelchairs at the main entrances to all hospitals. If none are available, please ask the receptionist at the main desk.

All entrances are wheelchair accessible.

Mobility parking and drop-off zones

Drop-off zones are available for patients and visitors at the main entrances to all large health facilities. We encourage you to use these areas, and then park in the mobility car parks. Please display your mobility parking permit in the front window.

Mobility parking at Grey Base Hospital:

  • At the parking nearest the main entrance
  • By the covered area near Corporate Services, with access to the ground floor
  • At the entrance to the lower ground floor near the Physiotherapy Department

Mobility parking at Buller Integrated Health Centre:

  • At the main entrance on Cobden Street
  • Outside Buller Medical on Derby Street

Mobility parking at Reefton Integrated Family Health Centre:

  • At the main entrance on Broadway

Accessible toilets

Wards and outpatient areas have wheelchair accessible toilets and showers.

Assistance and guide dogs

You can bring certified assistance dogs to hospital facilities.

Meals on Wheels and home help

If you have been using Meals on Wheels, home help, or District Nursing services please contact the service to let them know you are going to hospital.

If you or your whānau (family) need accommodation during your treatment period, talk to your usual health care team in your home town. A social worker or the person in charge of your care can give you accommodation information.

Family of patients staying in Greymouth may be able to stay in Whānau House.

The hospital Ministers and Priests have been theologically and clinically trained and licenced to work in a hospital.

The chaplaincy team offers confidential compassionate support, prayer and a listening ear in times of stress or loneliness; before and after surgery; for people experiencing loss and bereavement and around matters of faith and illness, and in celebrating the joys of life.

The chaplains are available to people of all faiths and no faith, and are here to support people of all religions and cultures. They can also contact your own religious or spiritual advisor and ask them to visit (Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, etc).

The Grey Base Hospital chapel is available for patients and visitors at all times. It is on the ground floor near Parfitt Ward. Ask a nurse about service times.

Arrange a visit from a chaplain

Your nurse, social worker, ward clerk or doctor can arrange for a chaplain to visit you, or you can ask to speak with a chaplain when you see them in the ward.

Blessing, rituals and ceremonies

Hospital chaplains provide appropriate blessing rituals for patients, their families and staff. This includes blessing rooms after death, equipment, wards, and workplaces.

Please talk to your nurse about your cultural needs. We can help you find cultural and ethnic groups to help with your health journey.

Ngā Ratonga Hauora Māori (The Māori Health Service)

Specially-trained staff provide āwhina/help and tautoko/support with cultural issues, education on tikanga (values and beliefs) and put patients and whānau in contact with Māori and mainstream organisations in the community.

Kāiwhina Whānua Support

We encourage families/whānau to contribute and participate in all aspects of care plans, discharge planning and multi-disciplinary team meetings.

Our role is to:

  • Assist tūroro through the hospital system
  • Be present, with patient permission, at appointments and consultations
  • Contact whānau
  • Provide information on community services that may be useful after discharge from hospital

It is your right to have whānau/family/friends with you in most circumstances during your hospital stay (as long as it is safe and doesn’t unreasonably affect other patients’ rights).

We encourage you and your support person to ask your nurse:

  • How you support person can be involved in your care
  • If you or they do not understand something
  • If you are uncertain about your care and treatment

We ask that you and your support person and visitors respect the ward routines and the needs and rights of other patients and their visitors.

Staff and support services are available to help you when you have a bereavement.


Visit the Healthinfo website for advice on what to do when someone dies.

Victim Support

24-hour support for people affected by crime or trauma
Victim Support website

0800 842 846

General Practitioner/family doctor

You may qualify for funded short term counselling sessions through your GP.

The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand

Many funeral homes offer grief support and information.


National organisation offering support services, information, counselling and support groups.
Skylight website

0800 299 100

Nurse Maude

Bereavement support and grief counselling services .
Nursemaude website 

03 375 4274 


24-hour community helpline.
Lifeline website

0800 543 354

Page last updated: 6 May 2019

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