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What to expect at the clinic

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If you have been referred

If you have been referred to us, we need your GP, or referring clinician, to send us a letter prior to booking your appointment, including all lab results and relevant information. The information from your referrer will enable us to ensure that you are booked with the clinician best able to address your problem. We will contact you either by phone or letter to arrange your appointment once we have all of the information we need.
If you have painful symptoms and think that you need to be seen urgently contact us on 0800 808 602 or 06 350 8602.


When you arrive at the clinic you will be asked to complete a registration form. This will only take a few minutes to fill out. If you have not been to the clinic before, or if it has been more than 1 year since your last visit, please allow 10 minutes before your appointment for filling out the paperwork. Alternatively, you can download our registration form, fill it in at home and bring it with you.


Our files are separate from the main hospital records, for increased confidentiality. However this means that other health providers find it more difficult to access information about your visit here.  Under some circumstances, we may be required to share information about your visit or your diagnosis (e.g. for legal requests and notifiable infections).

You may have laboratory tests as part of your care at the clinic. This is usually done under your National Health Index number (NHI); a unique number that is assigned to every person who uses health and disability support services in New Zealand. The main Hospital services and your GP use your NHI number. The NHI number is not a health record, it is simply a unique combination of letters and numbers which helps identify who you are; an important aspect of clinical safety. An NHI number is fundamental for services to link information and gain a better understanding of each person’s needs so we recommend using one at this clinic.

If you are particularly worried about confidentiality or you are not entitled to funded health care in New Zealand, please talk to the nurse or doctor as we can discuss an alternative option with you. 
Medical students and other health care professionals attend from time to time for training. We will always ask your permission before allowing them to attend your consultation.

Medical students and other health care professionals attend from time to time for training. We will always ask your permission before allowing them to attend your consultation

The consultation

Please note that the process described below may change depending on covid restrictions.
Feel free to bring a friend with you if you wish. We do ask some personal and sensitive questions though, so you may not want them to be present in the consultation. If you require an interpreter we can provide one but we do need a minimum of 3 days notice. 

A doctor or nurse will talk to you about your reasons for attending. They will ask you a number of personal questions including some personal sexual details. Although this may be embarrassing it is important that we have the correct information to allow us to perform the right tests and give you the right treatment.
We will discuss what tests we recommend you to have during your consultation. Testing can include swabs, a urine sample (so please don't pee for at least 2 hours before your appointment) and a blood test. Swabs can be self-collected if you don't have any symptoms, although the nurse/doctor can take the swabs if you prefer. We recommend an examination if you have any symptoms. The samples are sent to the lab, and it usually takes several days for the results.
If you need treatment then we can usually provide this at the clinic free of charge.

Follow-up and results

Many problems can be dealt with in one visit, however, you may be asked to attend another appointment for additional or repeat tests (especially if the risk of infection has been recent). Follow-up visits are also required for some treatment.

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General information about Palmerston North Hospital.