General practices in New Zealand are businesses, and like all businesses they need to make a profit in order to survive.
Doctors’ practices and medical centres are often privately owned and set their own fees. However, Twizel Medical Centre is owned by High Country Medical Trust and is administered by a Board of Trustees, who are elected by the community. Profit generated by Twizel Medical Centre goes back into the Medical Centre to enable it to continue providing top quality health services to the community and its visitors.
It’s free to enrol
It’s free to register or enrol with a general practice – but you will be charged a consultation fee each time you go to see them after that. You might want to see a Practice Nurse instead, and there will also be a charge for this, but it will be less.
If you enrol with a general practice, your care will be subsidised – so you’ll pay a reduced consultation fee.
A higher fee applies to patients who are enrolled elsewhere (a Casual rate). This is because general practices receive a government subsidy for each enrolled patient. If you are enrolled at another general practice we do not receive a government subsidy for you, so we have to apply a higher charge so that we don't lose money.
Who can enrol?
General practices 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.
The cost of a visit will be lower if you’re enrolled with the practice, because the government subsidises the fee.
If you have a long-term health condition or a terminal illness, you may be eligible for Care Plus.
General practices get extra government funding for Care Plus patients, so can provide additional care at no further cost to the patient.
If you're seeing your GP or Nurse Practitioner about an injury caused by an accident, you’ll be charged a lower fee if it's covered by ACC.
Your GP or Nurse Practitioner may refer you to a hospital or specialist doctor for further assessment or diagnosis.
Specialist care is free throughout the public health system, but you may go on a waiting list
If you want to get specialist advice quickly, you may wish to use a private hospital or specialist. You will have to pay a fee for this, unless you have private health insurance.