We are at ORANGE according to the NZ COVID-19 Protection Framework.  Protect yourself and our community by getting boosted, wearing a mask when out and about and reducing contact with others. Hospital visitors don’t need a Vaccine Pass, but must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are no longer acceptable.  See our COVID-19 page for general COVID-19 advice, detailed hospital visiting guidelines and COVID-19 tests.

See for info on vaccinations.

Where do I go when I am sick?

If you may have COVID-19 it’s essential that you phone ahead before visiting your doctor.

If you have symptoms you can also phone Healthline’s COVID-19 advice line on 0800 358 5453. If you need an urgent medical appointment, phone the health care provider and tell them that you think you have symptoms of COVID-19. This will ensure they are ready for your arrival and can take steps to ensure other patients and staff are kept safe.

Acute dental problems during COVID-19 Alert Level 4

There are significant restrictions on the types of dental treatment that are able to be provided while the Covid-19 virus poses a threat.

Anyone with an acute dental problem in Canterbury or the West Coast can phone 0800 846 983 or email (8am-4:30pm, Mon-Fri) for assistance.

After your call, a dentist or dental therapist will make contact to determine what treatment is needed and make appropriate arrangements. 

The Canterbury DHB’s dental department provides specialist dental care to people in the Canterbury region. Please note: It is also a tertiary referral centre for the West Coast and Nelson and Marlborough regions.

Depending on your illness, there are different places you and your whānau can go for health care on the West Coast.

Remember registering with a general practice team is really important for you and your family. A GP team can develop a relationship with you to have a much better understanding of your unique healthcare needs.


In a medical or mental health emergency, call 111 or go to your nearest hospital emergency department immediately.  Find out more about when to call 111…

The emergency department is only for critical and life-threatening situations, such as head injuries, chest pain, breathing trouble, broken bones, and severe bleeding.  Find out more about Emergency Department services…

Info about the Te Nīkau Hospital & Health Centre Emergency Department

Health clinics – Care around the clock

For almost all non-urgent illnesses and injuries, you should contact your local health clinic first.  Visit here to find a health clinic near you.

Even at night and on weekends when the clinic is closed, a nurse will be available to answer the phone and give you free advice. You can also call HealthLine at 0800 611 116 for free professional health advice at any time.  More about HealthLine…

Your local health team is equipped to deal with a wide range of health issues, and can give you the best advice on where to go if you need help from another service.

Self care 

A lot of minor illnesses and injuries – such as colds, cuts and scrapes – don’t necessarily need to be seen by a professional.

You can treat minor pain and illnesses by using good hygiene, resting, eating well, drinking lots of water and taking over-the-counter medications as directed on the package.


You can talk to staff at a pharmacy or chemist for advice on minor illnesses and injuries – such as headaches, minor allergies, and painful coughs. They can sell you some treatments and over-the-counter medications.  Visit here to find a pharmacy/chemist near you…

For prescription medications, you will need to consult a doctor or prescribing nurse.

After hours clinic

Your GP team may advise you to visit an after-hours service. This may be if you have a medical condition that is not an emergency, but can’t wait 24 hours to be seen.

Page last updated: 5 August 2020

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