Enrolment is easy, free and benefits you, your family as well as your community.
It is a good idea to enrol with a medical centre before you actually need to see a doctor or nurse. If you are moving, or just wanting to change your GP, you can download enrolment information on our website and start registering with one of our medical centres today.
What is enrolment?
When you go to a medical centre for an appointment, you may be asked to register or enroll by the receptionist. Registering allows the medical centre to apply for funding (money), from the Ministry of Health, so you can have cheaper doctors' visits and prescriptions.
The government funds medical centres through Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) and District Health Boards (DHBs) who have agreements with medical centers 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 have to ask patients to complete enrolments forms, so they get the right amount of funding. For example in poorer areas, or in areas where the people are much older or have more health needs, the medical centers can offer cheaper visits and services because they receive more funding.
Benefits of enrolling
When you enrol with a medical centre, you get special benefits including:
- Cheaper fees at your regular medical centre
- Cheaper prescriptions
- Reminders when you are due for cervical smear, mammogram, heart check or other tests that help you to stay well as well as immunisation reminders for your children
- Additional services such as support to help manage diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure, as well as advice and support on making healthy lifestyle decisions such as help to stop smoking
- Enrolment helps you and your family to develop a strong relationship with your doctors and general practice team
Having a regular doctor is important to your overall health and wellbeing. Your local medical centre team supports you to stay healthy and be well. They can also help you get in contact with other health services.
How do I enrol?
To enrol with a medical centre in the Green Cross Health group, find the medical centre nearest to you using our map on the home page, or if you know where you want to enrol go directly to their webpage using our map.
You can download enrolment information and the enrolment form, which you complete and return to the medical centre. You may be asked to bring a form of ID to your first visit. The form will ask for your details such as name, age, date of birth, address and ethnicity. The information collected when you enrol is protected by the Privacy Act 1993 and the Health Information Privacy Code 1994 (see below for more details on privacy).
Can I enrol other members of my family?
You can enrol any children in your care as long as they are 16 years of age or under. If they are over the age of 16, they will need to enrol themselves, unless you are their authorised representative or have Power of Attorney.
Can anyone enrol?
A medical centre can enrol any person who meets the criteria decided on by The Ministry of Health. The criteria is:
A person is fully eligible and entitled to be enrolled in a PHO if he / she is residing in New Zealand and:
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.
What happens if I see a GP somewhere else or enrol somewhere else?
You can go to another medical centre or change to a new centre at any time. If you are enrolled at one medical centre and visit another, you are considered a "casual" patient and you will pay a higher fee for that visit. You should enrol with the medical centre you will see most often. It is important you are happy with the services you receive from your medical centre and it is your personal choice what medical centre you enrol with.
If you enrol somewhere else, the change will be notified to the Ministry of Health, who will advise your previous medical centre that you have enrolled somewhere else. Your medical notes will be transferred electronically. Note that it can take up to three months for the transfer process to be completed and you might not be able to immediately access the benefits that come with being enrolled (such as cheaper doctor visits).
What happens if I am enrolled at a medical centre but don’t see them very often?
If you have not seen anyone from your medical centre in a three year period it is likely that the centre will contact you and ask if you wish to remain enrolled with them. If you are not able to be contacted or do not respond, you could be made a casual patient and not receive the same subsidised rates when you visit. You can re-enrol with the same medical centre or another one at a later time if you choose to.
What happens to the information I give on my enrolment form?
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 publicly 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 directly 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 a Green Cross Health medical centre you can contact us here. For more information on visiting a doctor you can go to this Ministry of Health page.
For this information and additional information about enrolment please see http://www.health.govt.nz/, http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/primary-health-care/about-primary-health-organisations , http://www.health.govt.nz/new-zealand-health-system/my-dhb