Finding a GP near you is simple with the use of these tools. Here we show you how to choose, change and enrol with a GP.

Finding a GP

  • The Google of general practice; Healthpoint provides information on thousands of practices and GPs all across New Zealand in a simple search engine.
  • Call Healthline (0800 611 116) - it’s a complimentary service open 24/7. As well as being able to tell you where the nearest doctor is, their trained registered nurses also provide health advice.

Practices that are affiliated with a Primary Healthcare Organisation (PHO) can reduce the cost of visits or prescriptions for their enrolled patients. It is always best to enrol with a practice as your visits will cost you less.

Ask your GP or practice nurse for an enrolment form – this will require you to provide some personal details. A handy pamphlet is provided by the Ministry of Health to answer any questions on enrolling with a PHO.

Changing GPs

Moving to a new practice is as easy as 1 2 3. 

  1. When you enrol with a new GP, you will need to sign a permission form to have your records transferred. After this, your job is done. 
  2. These days, most people will have an electronic medical record. This record (or any paper files) will either be sent by mail then re-entered into the new doctors’ system, OR (preferably) a service provided by Patients First, called GP2GP, enables the medical records to be electronically transferred from one GP to another without manual re-entry. 
  3. Your new GP now has your entire medical record and prescription history.

If you are leaving a practice because you are unhappy with your healthcare experience, please go the Health and Disability Commission website where you can take your complaint further.

Closed for business

GPs can sometimes reach their capacity and ‘close their books’. GPs should refer you to their PHO who will either find you another GP or put you on a waiting list, while arranging for alternative care in the meantime. 

Vocational registration

When looking for a GP, we recommend you choose someone that is vocationally registered. The College advocates vocational registration as it ensures practicing GPs are working to a high standard, have good collegial connections and continue to improve their knowledge base year on year.

These GPs have completed three years of specialist training (+8 years medical training) in the field of general practice and are registered with the Medical Council. To maintain their specialist status, sometimes referred to as FRNZCGP, they are required to continuously attend courses, complete audits, be reviewed by peers, and attend seminars and other training activities to keep them up to speed with new developments.

Doctors that are not vocationally registered account for about 10 per cent of the workforce; they are registered with the Medical Council under ‘general scope’ registration. 

You can find out if your GP is vocationally registered by searching the list of vocationally registered doctors on the Medical Council website.