General Practice

Your general practice team, also known as your primary care team, is your first point of contact for health advice or care, unless it is an emergency. There are 40+ general and nurse practitioners working alongside 70 practice nurses in 21 sites throughout South Canterbury. Find a GP.

For the best possible care it is important for you and your family to be enrolled with a local practice.


Unless it’s an emergency (when you should call 111), always make your primary health care team your first call 24/7 when you or someone in your family is sick. Primary care covers a broad range of health services, including diagnosis and treatment, health education, counselling, disease prevention and screening.

  • GPs can only enrol people who are eligible for publicly funded health services. When you enrol, you may be asked to show proof of eligibility – such as your passport or birth certificate. You’ll be asked to sign an enrolment form.
  • A GP may ‘close their books’ if they can’t safely take on any more patients. Phone 03 687 2307 to be enrolled in a practice with available space; or use this enrolment form.
  • Your medical record is kept with the GP you’re enrolled with, but any health professional involved in your care can look at your record. You can ask to look at your record at any time.
  • Doctors’ practices and medical centres are privately owned and set their own fees. The cost of a visit will be lower if you’re enrolled with the GP, because the government subsidises the fee.
  • All children under 13 are eligible for free general practice visits, both during the day and after-hours.
  • Your doctor may refer you to a hospital or specialist doctor for further assessment or diagnosis. Specialist care is free through the public health system, but you may go on a waiting list.
After Hours Services

General practices are usually open business hours, Monday to Friday. Every practice is required to have arrangements for their patients to receive care outside these hours. After hours consultations at clinics usually costs more, however are free for children under 13 years of age.

Learn more and contact an After Hours Surgery.

Referral Information

Phone: 03 687 2307 to be enrolled in a practice with available space, or download and complete an enrolment form.