Enrolment, or registration, with a medical centre is free and means you can have cheaper doctors' visits and prescriptions. This is because the Ministry of Health provides funds for eligible patients who enrol with a medical centre.
It is a good idea to enrol with a medical centre before you need to see a doctor or nurse.
You can download an enrolment form from most of our medical centres information pages. To find your nearest medical centre use the search tool at the top of the page.
The information you will be asked for may vary depending on the centre you are enrolling with. You will be asked to provide identification. The information collected when you enrol is protected by the Privacy Act 1993 and the Health Information Privacy Code 1994.
A medical centre can enrol anyone who is living in New Zealand and meets the following criteria, which are decided on by The Ministry of Health:
a. Is a New Zealand citizen OR
b. Holds a resident visa or a permanent resident visa (or a residence permit if issued before December 2010) OR
c. Is an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident AND has been in New Zealand or intends to stay in New Zealand for at least 2 consecutive years OR
d. Has a work visa/permit and is able to show that he/she is able to be in New Zealand for at least 2 years (previous permits included) OR
e. Is an interim visa holder who was eligible immediately before their interim visa started OR
f. Is a refugee or protected person OR is in the process of applying for, or appealing refugee or protection status, OR is a victim or suspected victim of people trafficking OR
g. Is under 18 years and in the care and control of a parent/legal guardian/adopting parent who meets one criterion in clauses a–f above OR
h. 18 or 19 years and can demonstrate that, on the 15 April 2011, I was the dependant of an eligible work permit holder OR
i. Is a NZ Aid Programme student studying in New Zealand and receiving Official Development Assistance funding (or their partner or child under 18 years old) OR
j. Is participating in the Ministry of Education Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship
k. Is a Commonwealth Scholarship holder studying in New Zealand and receiving funding from a New Zealand university under the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Fund.
You can also enrol children in your care who are 16 years of age or younger. Once young people in your care are 17 years, they need to enrol themselves, unless you are their authorised representative or have Power of Attorney.
The government funds medical centres through Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) and District Health Boards (DHBs) who have agreements with medical centres to provide care in the community. The amount of funding depends on the age, gender, ethnicity, and address of the people receiving the health care. To get this information medical centres ask patients to complete enrolment forms.
If you have not seen anyone at your medical centre for three years, it is likely that the centre will contact you and ask if you want to remain enrolled. If they cannot contact you, your enrolment may lapse and you may not receive the same subsidised rates when you visit. You can re-enrol with the same medical centre or another one at any time.
When you enrol you are asked to provide information such as age, sex, ethnicity. This information is protected by the medical ethics of confidentiality, the provisions of the Privacy Act 1993 and the Health Information Privacy Code 1994.
The information you give will be held by the medical centre, used by the Ministry of Health to update any changes, sent to the PHO and Ministry of Health to get subsidised funding on your behalf, and used to determine eligibility to funded services. At the medical centre, members of the health team may add to your health record during any services provided to you and use that information to provide appropriate care. They may also send relevant health information to other health professionals who are involved in your care.
Choosing a medical centre that is right for you and your family is important. If you have any questions about enrolling with one of our medical centres, you can contact us here. For more information on you can go to this Ministry of Health page.