Get a Prescription and/or Medical Advice When Travelling in New Zealand Without Having to Travel to a Clinic
The thought of having to seek medical attention in a foreign country can be stressful. Taking the time out of your, no doubt, well-planned itinerary for a medical emergency, like your luggage getting lost along with your supply of medication, or for an illness, is certainly not ideal. New Zealand‘s community health clinics (where you usually have your GP/doctor’s consultation in person) are often booked for several days in advance and have limited opening hours, especially in small towns. Luckily, there’s an alternative to being stuck in a clinic’s waiting room for hours on end; CareHQ.
Working in partnership with New Zealand GP practices to help lighten their load, as well as providing a convenient option for patients when there isn’t an in-person clinic nearby or it’s after hours, CareHQ is the easy way for tourists to see a doctor when travelling in New Zealand. This guide will go over what it is, how it works and how it can keep your holiday travels going despite unfortunate circumstances.
5 Reasons Why CareHQ is an Easy Way to See a Doctor When Travelling in New Zealand
- Appointments are as easy as using your phone, as all GP consultations are made by video call through the user-friendly CareHQ website (or app).
- Do your consultation from anywhere; so you don’t have to travel to a clinic or stay in the same town for a day or two, waiting for the next appointment.
- Have access to a GP after hours; CareHQ offers international tourists appointments from 7 am to 7 pm, 7 days a week, unlike standard New Zealand clinics that are usually open from 8 am to 5 pm, 5 days a week.
- See a New Zealand doctor; your doctor from home won’t be much use while you’re in New Zealand. You have a highly qualified GP at your fingertips who can prescribe you medication and have it sent to your nearest pharmacy, if they feel it is safe and appropriate to do so. Where you require in-person care, your CareHQ GP can recommend the next steps in your care plan, including referrals to other doctors, and investigations.
- Claim the cost with your travel insurance; if you choose to take premium travel insurance, the cost of consultations with CareHQ may be covered. If you require further care such as collecting a prescription, blood tests, or seeing a specialist, additional charges when using these services may apply.
What is CareHQ?
CareHQ is a New Zealand online clinic that offers remote GP consultations through its phone app or website. All consultations are with New Zealand-registered GPs who are all highly trained in giving consultations remotely. They are available to international visitors from 7 am to 7 pm, 7 days a week.
During your online consultation, the GP will recommend any treatments or tests you may need. As for prescriptions, they can be emailed to your preferred pharmacy.
CareHQ may not be right for complex health issues or issues that require an in-person examination. If you have a medical emergency such as severe pain, chest pain, collapse, severe bleeding, or shortness of breath, call 111 immediately. When prescribing medications, your CareHQ GP will assess whether your medicines are safe to prescribe via telemedicine. For medications that require close monitoring or that carry risks of sedation (such as sleeping tablets or strong pain relief), you may be asked to seek review via in-person care and/or receive a shorter bridging script, to manage this risk and keep you safe.
How Does CareHQ Work?
As we said, CareHQ is the easy way to see a doctor for tourists travelling in New Zealand. You can be speaking to a qualified New Zealand doctor in a few easy steps.
Step 1 – Open the CareHQ Website or App
Whether you prefer to use your phone, laptop or tablet, CareHQ can be used anywhere. Head to the CareHQ website and click ‘Book Now’ to book online, or if it is available in your app store download the CareHQ app through App Store or Google Play. Get advice on how to get a stable internet connection in How to Get Internet and WiFi in New Zealand.
Step 2 – Book an International Visitor Appointment
Once you’ve registered, book an appointment by selecting the “International visitor” option. You will need to provide a copy of your passport or visa as a PDF or Jpeg to confirm your identity.
You can choose to see the next available GP or make a booking for a later time and date. You’ll then be required to input your pre-payment details. CareHQ will send you the details of your appointment once confirmed.
Step 3 – Begin the Consultation
When the GP is ready, you’ll receive a link either by text or email. Simply tap or click the link to start your video consultation.
Once the consultation is over, you’ll be charged and sent a receipt via email. That way, you are easily able to claim the cost through your travel insurance if applicable.
Tips for Using CareHQ as a Tourist in New Zealand
As a tourist travelling in New Zealand, there are a few ways you can make your doctor’s consultation even easier with CareHQ. Here are some tips:
Before Your GP Consultation
- Have a copy of your passport or visa as a PDF or Jpeg so you can upload it during the booking process
- Be prepared with a New Zealand physical (street) address, which is a legal requirement for GPs to provide a medical prescription or specialist referral – you can use the address of the accommodation you are staying at
- Look up the nearest or most convenient pharmacy to pick up a prescription and make a note of it, just in case you are prescribed some medication
- Have your payment card ready – you’ll need to pay for the consultation at the time you book it. Make sure you check out CareHQ’s cancellation policy too
- When booking, please remember that CareHQ is not an emergency service. If you have a medical emergency such as severe pain, chest pain, collapse, severe bleeding, or shortness of breath, call 111 immediately
- For more information about the Terms and Conditions, see the CareHQ website.
During Your GP Consultation
- Make sure you have a good internet connection and keep it stable by staying in one place for the duration of the consultation
- Find a private and quiet space to have your consultation; perhaps your hotel room or your rental vehicle
- It might be helpful to have a note of and/or your usual prescription medication on hand.
After Your GP Consultation
- Keep the receipt of your consultation, as you may be able to claim the cost through your travel insurance
Book to See a Doctor in New Zealand
Ready to go? Even if you’re not in New Zealand just yet, it is handy to have the CareHQ app downloaded and ready to use if needed (you can always delete it when you get home). Where you aren’t able to download the app, simply visit the website and click “Book Now” to arrange your consult entirely online.
The CareHQ app is available at the following links:
For other useful apps to have on hand while travelling the country, check out the 15 Best Travel Apps for New Zealand.
More About How to See a Doctor as a Tourist Travelling in New Zealand
That’s it for our advice on the easy way to see a doctor as a tourist travelling in New Zealand. If you still want to wise up on how healthcare works in the “Land of the Long White Cloud”, take a look at the following guides:
- A Traveller’s Guide to Healthcare in New Zealand
- How to Pay for Healthcare Services in New Zealand
- Travel Health Tips for New Zealand: Vaccinations, Medication & More