Health & disability services at Alert Level 3
Please seek help promptly for any health concerns during Alert Level 3.
You do not need to worry about catching COVID-19 at a health centre or hospital. This is because there are strict infection prevention measures in place, and any hospital patients with COVID-19 symptoms are cared for in an isolation ward.
You also do not need to worry that healthcare is not available to you. Health services continue to have capacity to provide advice if you and your whānau are unwell. Contact your GP or Healthline for help, or call 111 for emergencies.
Here is a summary of health and disability services at Alert Level 3.
- Testing for COVID-19 continues at community-based assessment centres (CBACs) and general practices.
- Hospitals are open for emergency care and some outpatient procedures (face-to-face). Outpatient appointments will also continue online or over the phone.
- General practices are open, with appointments conducted online, by phone or face-to-face if required.
- Your doctor or nurse will continue to provide care for urgent issues, management of long-term conditions, mental health consultations, prescriptions of medication and the treatment of common illness.
- Patients will be referred to specialists and for other treatment if needed.
- Cervical and breast screening programmes will gradually resume, although bowel screening will not resume under Alert Level 3 at this stage.
- Community pharmacies are open, but medicine management services will be provided over the phone where possible.
- Community midwives will provide services in a variety of ways, including face-to-face and on-line appointments. Antenatal and newborn screening programmes will continue.
- Community dental services may provide face-to-face appointments for urgent or emergency care. Routine care (non-essential and elective dentistry) will not be provided.
- Physiotherapy, podiatry, optometry and Well Child Tamaraki Ora services will continue to be mainly online or over the phone. Some face-to-face appointments may be provided for urgent appointments only.
- Disability residential care will continue as usual.
- Planned respite services will remain suspended, but urgent respite care may be provided.
- Essential personal care services, such as toileting, washing and feeding, will be provided as usual. Some home help, such as house cleaning, may be available.
- Inpatient and residential mental health and addiction services will operate as usual.
- Community mental health service appointments will be online or by phone where possible. There may be some face-to-face appointments.
- Urgent and crisis community mental health services will continue as usual.
More information about health services at Level 3 is available on the Ministry of Health's website.
More about the free Healthline services
The dedicated COVID-19 Healthline number is 0800 358 5453. Healthline’s number for all non-COVID related clinical calls is 0800 611 116. Both are available 24/7 and phone calls are free from both landlines and mobile phones.
The Healthline team can arrange an interpreter to talk with you in your language – when your call is answered, say you'd like an interpreter and the language you'd like to speak in. They can also engage with the NZ Relay Services and support the deaf, hearing impaired, deafblind and speech impaired.