Good health is the best asset you and your whānau can have so when doing your budget make sure that you have money set aside for your health needs. 

Accessing health services can be costly. The most important way that you can keep your health costs down is by having a community services card. A community services card can help you with: 
  • prescription fees 
  • fees for after hours doctor visits 
  • visits to a doctor who is not your regular doctor 
  • glasses for children under 16 
  • emergency dental care provided by hospitals and approved dental contractors (ask the dental provider if they are an approved contractor).  
  • travel and accommodation for treatment at a public hospital outside your area when you have been referred (at least 80km away for adults and 25km for children)
  • home help.  
To find out more or apply go to:
If you think that you need to see a doctor or a dentist urgently don’t put it off because you don’t have the money – your health is too important. Follow the link to help with the unexpected to see what assistance you may be eligible for. One option may be to talk to the Salvation Army or another food bank service about getting a food parcel – this will free up your grocery money to pay for the bill. Another option may be to ring your health service and explain your financial issue – some will let you pay the amount off over a period of time allowing you some time to get the money together. 

Don’t take risks with your health – ask for help

GP Fees

There are massive price discrepancies in the fees charged by GPs so it is worthwhile checking how much services will cost you before you join a practice and comparing these with other providers in your area – if you have a community services card make sure that you mention this. 

However, it is also important that you see someone you have confidence in and feel comfortable with. When choosing a practice consider how close it is to your home as this will save you in travel costs (especially if you don’t have a car) – it is not worth saving $5 if you have to drive across town. Staying with the same practitioner – as long as you are happy with them – is recommended for an accurate record of your health. 


ACC may be able to help you with your health costs if you have been affected by an accident. To find out more visit the ACC website at: 


Well Child-Tamariki Ora health checks

Well Child-Tamariki Ora health checks are free to all preschool tamariki in New Zealand. These checks are carried out by a doctor, nurse or midwife when your pepi is born and regularly up until they start school. 

Well Child-Tamariki Ora checks look at how your tamariki is growing and developing, and also check hearing, vision and immunisations. The programme also provides information and advice to parents on keeping healthy. 

Subsidies for GP visits

The Government subsidises GP visits for tamariki. For tamariki under the age of six, the subsidy is $35 for each visit. Sometimes, this means the visit is free, but increasingly you may be charged a fee to cover the difference between the subsidy and the GP's own costs. For tamariki aged six and over the subsidy is: 
  • $20 where the parent or caregiver holds a Community Services Card or a High Use Health Card (administered by the Department of Work and Income)
  • $15 in other cases. 
As the GP fee is usually higher, you will have to pay the balance. 


As with GP’s there can be large price differences in dentist fees. While the price of dentists can be off putting you only get one permanent set of teeth so it pays to look after them! 

For tips on keeping care of your teeth go to: 


Most dental care services are free for tamariki and rangatahi until the age of 18. Make the most of this service and take your tamariki in every six months as this will help them have good teeth for life. This free service includes: dental examinations, fillings, extraction of primary teeth, placement of fissure sealants and applications of fluorides. 

In order to access this service your tamariki needs to be signed up to the Community Oral Health Centre. If your tamariki are not currently enrolled then you need to ring 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583). The sooner you do this better as you will incur costs if you take your child to the dentist unless they are enrolled. 

You can find out all you need to know at the following Ministry of Health site:


If you have an accident and damage your teeth then some or all of the costs may be covered by ACC. To find out more visit the ACC website:

Emergency dental work

Having a community services card means that you are eligible for the emergency dental care provided by hospitals and approved dental contractors (ask the dental provider if they are an approved contractor).