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North Canterbury offers residents a variety of key health services, including general medical practices, hospitals, midwifery and maternity services, infant care and aged care services. The region’s proximity to Christchurch means residents are also able to easily access the wider range of primary and specialist health services available there.
Primary healthcare services in North Canterbury are facilitated by the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB). The CDHB is the second largest district health board in New Zealand, and serves over 500,000 people.
The Rural Canterbury Primary Health Organisation (RCPHO) works to provide essential primary healthcare services to their enrolled patients in North Canterbury. This means rural medical centres from Cheviot southwards will have qualified, experienced medical practitioners available to treat enrolled patients. The RCPHO also offers a number of specialist services: www.rcpho.org.nz/services/.
Hurunui residents can find a list of health and social services in the CDHB’s Hurunui Health, Education & Social Services Directory.
There are approximately 16 general medical practices operating in North Canterbury, each offering a number of healthcare services, GP and nurse appointments.
To find your nearest medical centre, browse the CDHB’s GP Map: gpmap.healthscape.net.nz/.
North Canterbury is home to three hospitals: Oxford Hospital, Waikari Hospital and Rangiora Health Hub.
Oxford and Waikari Hospitals are small hospitals offering beds for a range of medical needs including post-surgery care, palliative care and general medical care.
Rangiora Health Hub is the largest hospital in North Canterbury. Opened in 2015 it houses a high quality maternity unit and a range of other outpatient and specialist services for the North Canterbury community. For more on Rangiora Health Hub’s services, visit: www.cdhb.health.nz/Hospitals-Services/hospitals/rangiora-health-hub.
The CDHB offers specialist mental health services available to adult and youth patients throughout Canterbury. You can find more on this here: www.cdhb.health.nz/Hospitals-Services/Mental-Health.
Your GP can support you with any mental health concerns, and can refer you to the appropriate mental health support provider.
There are a number of midwives either operating in, or willing to travel to, North Canterbury to provide midwifery support. The Find Your Midwife website lets you browse midwives by location as well as other criteria such as date, cultural preference and birthing location (e.g. homebirth, hospital birth, etc).
Alternatively, you can ask friends, family or your GP for recommendations.
Rangiora Health Hub is North Canterbury’s only birthing centre and offers high quality maternity care facilities. Visit this page for details on what they offer or to arrange a tour of the facilities: www.cdhb.health.nz/Hospitals-Services/maternity-services/Maternity-Facilities/Pages/Maternity-Facilities-at-Rangiora-Hospital.aspx
Plunket is the largest provider of free health and development support services for babies and pre-school aged children in New Zealand. There are approximately 10 Plunket clinics located throughout North Canterbury.
Your midwife or lead maternity carer will refer you to Plunket when your child is born. Or you can use the Plunket clinic finder to discover your local clinic: www.plunket.org.nz/plunket-near-you/.
Approximately 17% of the North Canterbury population is now aged over 65. The increase in North Canterbury’s population, as well as the ageing of the existing population has seen a number of new retirement villages, rest homes and aged care facilities constructed in North Canterbury in recent years.
North Canterbury GPs and medical centre staff are trained to provide care or offer referrals to specialist care for elderly patients. The majority of specialist health services for elderly patients in Canterbury is undertaken at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch.
Meals on Wheels is available for the elderly in Kaiapoi and Rangiora. Speak to your GP for a referral to Meals on Wheels.