People in New Zealand are responsible for their health care costs in a non-accident situation, unless they have health insurance, which will pay for or assist with costs. For a good overview of health services in New Zealand follow www.dunedin.govt.nz/health-care.
Doctors in Dunedin
New Zealanders who feel unwell are treated by a doctor at a medical practice, and only go to the Hospital for medical emergencies. For day-to-day health care, it is recommended international students enrol with a GP (General Practitioner or doctor). If not enrolled with a specific practice there may be a different fee for a consultation.
Students can register with a doctor of their choice anywhere in the city. WellSouth has a full list of GP practices in Dunedin.
Many tertiary students chose to enrol at Student Health Services located close to campus, which has a team of doctors, nurses and counsellors, and is open weekdays 8.30 to 5pm. Medical insurance should cover the cost of going to the doctor, but students may need to pay for the appointment and any associated costs if a condition is not covered by their insurance.
Urgent health care
Dunedin Hospital has an Emergency Department operating 24 hours a day. This is only for accidents and emergencies.
Minor injuries or illness can be treated at the Urgent Doctors and Accident Centre in Hanover Street, open from 8am to 10.00pm daily. The Centre also offers out-of-hours treatment. Costs apply.
Healthline offers a phone-service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for people wanting to know where the nearest doctor is, or to advise those feeling unwell but not sure whether they need to see a doctor. All phone calls are free from within New Zealand. Healthline is staffed by experienced registered nurses who are specialists in assessing and advising over the phone. Healthline can usually arrange an interpreting service to speak to someone in their own language.
In an emergency
In a life and death emergency, dial 111 and ask for an ambulance. State your address clearly to the operator, answer questions about the nature of the emergency and follow instructions.
Mental health services in Otago
There is a range of mental health support services available to people living in Dunedin. Look at the Southern District Health Board website for a full list. Student Health Services can also assist with mental health issues.
As with doctors, international students are free to choose their own dentist and are responsible for the cost unless it is an accident-related matter. Yellow has a full list of dental services in Dunedin. Cheaper dental services may be available through the University of Otago Dental School patients are treated by students under the supervision of their teachers.
Pharmacists offer advice on the safety and correct use of medicines and some health problems. They sell over-the-counter medicines, and dispense medicines prescribed by the doctor. Follow this link for a full list of pharmacies in Dunedin. The Urgent Pharmacy is located immediately next door to the Urgent Doctors in Hanover Street, and is open from 10am to 10pm every day.
Civil Defence information
Dunedin has experienced very few natural disasters in its history, and has not been damaged from earthquakes elsewhere in the South Island, but it is important to be prepared. Where possible, the likely occurrence of any civil defence emergency will be broadcast by the media in news and weather bulletins as well as on social media sites. Local authorities are responsible for civil defence emergency management in their area. Emergency Management Otago explains how to be prepared, and what to do in any type of civil defence event.
If life or property is threatened always dial 111 for Police, Fire or Ambulance.
Find just how handy the Student Health Services and the Urgent After hours Doctors are.Adding Add to Information File Remove from Information File