Southland offers a great choice of public and private health services, with a modern hospital located in Invercargill and a smaller hospital in Gore.
Southland Hospital is a public hospital managed by the Southern District Health Board (DHB). The Southern DHB is responsible for publicly funded primary, community and hospital health services in the Southern DHB catchment area of Southland and Otago, New Zealand.
Located in Invercargill, Southland Hospital is a modern public hospital which provides a range of services, including acute medical and surgical, outpatient clinics, day procedures and 24-hour emergency services. There are also comprehensive ancillary facilities including laboratory, medical imaging diagnostics, specialist paediatric, maternity, and rehabilitation and therapy services.
Southland also has a 20 bed community-owned hospital in Gore to service the Gore District. Services include inpatient and 24-hour Emergency Department services, maternity services, a GP practice, dental practice and community health services.
There is also a private hospital, Southern Cross, which is based in Invercargill.
The community drive a number of charitable medical trusts in Southland which aim to ensure rural communities have access to high quality healthcare.
If you have had an accident or require immediate medical assistance you can contact an ambulance by dialing 111.
You can also call a free helpline Healthline on 0800 611 116 if you require health advice at any time of the day and night. You will be connected to a registered nurse who can provide information and advice. Healthline also provides an interpreting service if you need to talk to someone if your own language.
Your health needs
If you are moving to Southland from overseas, you need to find out whether you are eligible for publicly-funded health services. To do this, you can visit the Ministry of Health website. If you are not eligible for public-funded health services, we recommend that you purchase private health insurance.
When you arrive in Southland, you will need to register with a Doctor or General Practitioner (GP). A full list of Doctors in the region can be found on the Public Health website. To find out if a Doctor is currently taking on new patients, phone the Southern Public Health Organisation on 03 214 6436.
For people with low to middle income, a Community Services Card may be available to help with the costs of health care, such as paying less on some health services and prescriptions. The card can be used for dependent children under the age of 18. Find out if you are eligible for a Community Services Card.
Accident Compensation Commission (ACC)
New Zealand has an accident compensation scheme, which provides personal injury cover for all New Zealand citizens, residents and temporary visitors to New Zealand. This replaces the right to sue for damages. Find out more about the ACC scheme.
In New Zealand, dentistry is not funded through the public health system. Only children between the ages of 6 months and 12 years can access free dental care through the schools they attend, and adolescents between the ages of 13-18 can access free dental care from contracted providers. Free phone 0800 487 3733 for a list of providers in Southland.
Southland Hospital has a dental department for emergency dental treatment and for treatment of low income adults.
For all other dental services, private dental practitioners are listed in the Southland phone book.
Mental health services
The Southern District Health Board provides a range of specialist mental health services to people of all ages. Teams are based in Invercargill and Gore and provide services across the Southland district.
If you need urgent mental health assistance, phone the Southland Mental Health Emergency Team who provide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week service on 0800 467 846.
There is also a variety of community-based mental health services provided by non-government organisations across the Southland district. Future Directions provides comprehensive information about mental health services in Southland.
A variety of social service organisations are available in Southland to support you and your family.
Women's and children's health
Maternity care is free for women who are New Zealand citizens, have permanent residency or who are eligible through other criteria. To find out if you are eligible visit the Government's health website.
New Zealand also has a national immunisation programme which allows all babies and children to be immunised free of charge.
Women's Refuge is a response to violence in the home and safe houses are provided for women at confidential locations. For Invercargill Women's Refuge services phone 03 218 9790 or for Gore phone 03 208 9333.
Plunket Line is a free service to support all families and provide health services to pre-schoolers. You can phone Plunket Line on 0800 933 922, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your call will be answered by a Plunket nurse, who can provide advice and information on parenting issues and your child's health and wellbeing.
Language Line and Interpreters
When visiting a Doctor or specialist, you are entitled to have an interpreter or access to Language Line.
Language Line is a service provided by the New Zealand Government to assists those who speak little or no English. Services such as Healthline and Plunket Line are linked with Language Line. Click here for a full list of participating agencies.