Nelson Marlborough Health arranges the transportation of patients between its facilities.

Inpatient transfers (hospital to hospital)

Organised by Nelson Marlborough Health (NMH) in conjunction with our partners Garden City Aviation, the Flying Doctor Service and St John.

Non-acute patients between Wairau and Nelson Hospitals are transported with an NMH Registered Nurse and St John.  This is a joint project that St John and NMH have been involved with since 2015.

Acute transfers or those unable to fly commercially will have their transport coordinated and provided by NMH using transport-trained Registered Nurses. 

The NMH flight team provides a nurse-only flight service in conjunction with Garden City Aviation and the New Zealand Flying Doctor Service who provide the fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft in Nelson, as well as air ambulance pilots.

For very unwell, or acute patients where a doctor and nurse team is required NMH liaises with our tertiary partners Canterbury District Health Board (in conjunction with Garden City Aviation) and Capital & Coast District Health Board Wellington (in conjunction with Lifeflight)


Outpatient transfers (community to hospital)

Patients that receive confirmation of surgery or an appointment at a different District Health Board (DHB) may have their travel organised by the patient travel team in accordance with Ministry of Health National Travel Assistance.

The patient travel assistance covers the cost of the patient and one support person.  This includes flights or road mileage, accommodation allowance of $100 per night, and an airport transfer by taxi or shuttle (excluding Nelson or Blenheim) to the hospital or a motel - not a private residence.

The patient travel team works in conjunction with the inpatient flight transfer team to arrange accommodation for family members of patients being transferred.

It is important to note NMH patient travel is only for patients that live within the Nelson Marlborough Health district.  All other patients need to contact their local DHB, or if international, their medical insurance provider.

Children that require both parents to be funded to travel with them are required to have a second support person letter from the appropriate specialist.