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Healthcare services in Ōtaki and Te Horo

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In 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between MidCentral DHB and Capital and Coast DHB regarding access to health services for residents of Ōtaki and Te Horo.

The MoU outlines the arrangement between the two DHBs, which allows Ōtaki and Te Horo residents to access some health services through Capital and Coast DHB if it is more convenient for them.
Below are some of the common questions that are asked about access to services and their answers.

I need specialist hospital care and I would like to go to Wellington as my family support is there. Is this possible?

In general, it is expected that people from Ōtaki and Te Horo will receive their specialist care, including outpatient appointments and surgical services, from MidCentral DHB. However, you may be supported by Capital and Coast on referral from your general practice team to the appropriate service in Capital and Coast DHB.

In an emergency, can I choose which hospital the ambulance will take me to?

No, you cannot choose what hospital the ambulance takes you to. Ambulance services for the Ōtaki community are provided by St John Ambulance.  In an emergency, residents of Ōtaki and Te Horo will always be taken to Palmerston North Hospital unless the individual’s condition has a specific clinical protocol to take them elsewhere.
The paramedics in the ambulance will make the right decision for you based on your condition.

Why do some Ōtaki/Te Horo people get transferred directly to Wellington Hospital in an emergency and others don’t have the choice?

Ambulance services will only take people to Wellington Hospital if that is the referral protocol for their condition - such as for some major traumas or STEMI (a type of heart attack). People may also be taken to Hutt Hospital in the case of serious burns.

I have received hospital care in Wellington. Am I able to have district nursing care at my home in Ōtaki afterwards?

District nursing and other community based services will be provided by MidCentral DHB to a person recuperating in Ōtaki or Te Horo, irrespective of where you are from or where you received your hospital care. Please ask your specialist to refer you to MidCentral District Nursing Service.

I have received hospital care in Palmerston North but would like to recuperate in Wellington with my family. Can I get district nursing care there?

Yes. If you are recuperating at an address within the Capital and Coast DHB boundaries then your district nursing care will be provided by Capital and Coast. Please ask to be referred to the Capital and Coast District Nursing services.
For further information, please contact MidCentral DHB Locality Manager Angela Rainham at

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