General medical

P.L.A.N. for better care

Lets P.L.A.N. for better health care is a health literacy initiative to help consumers prepare well for their visit to the GP or other primary care health professional.
As well as an A4 flyer you can also access an interactive form. You can use the form to note down your questions and click the 'Print' button at the end to print your questions or save them as a PDF.

Four steps for your next health care visit

Planning for your next health care visit and asking questions will help you understand more about your health and treatment for an illness or injury.
Your doctor, nurse and other included in your health care want you to ask questions to help you make decisions together.
Let's P.L.A.N. for better care

Prepare for your visit

  • write down your main concerns or questions
  • make a list of your medicines and supplements
  • did you know you can take a support person with you and ask for a translator?

Listen and share

  • say if you don't understand and if a drawing could help
  • say if you're having problems with your medicines or treatment, or can't afford them
  • is there anything else you can tell your doctor or nurse about your health?

Ask questions

  • what is my health problem?
  • what happens next?
  • why is that important?
  • are there any other options?
  • what can I do to help with my health?

Note down what you need to do next

When you collect your medicine from a pharmacy, you may want to ask these questions:

  • what is the medicine for?
  • what is its name?
  • how and when do I take it?
  • how long do I need to take it for?
  • what could happen if I stop taking it?
  • what are the side effects? What should I do if I get these?

If you would like copies of the Let's P.L.A.N. A4 pads and posters please email: stating the numbers you would like and where you would like them delivered.

Advance Care Planning

Advance Care Planning is the process of think about, talking about and planning for future health care and end of life care.
Advance Care Planning gives everyone a chance to say what's important to them. It helps people understand what the future might hold and to say what treatment they would and would not want. It helps people, their families and their healthcare teams plan for future and end of life care.
This makes it much easier for families and healthcare providers to know what a person would want - particularly if they can no longer speak for themselves.
To download and complete your plan click here
For more information on Advance Care Planning visit

Grey Matters

Ministry of Health library publishes a regular on line newsletter "Grey Matter" which provides access to a selection of the most recent NGO, Think Tank and International Government reports that are relevant to the health context. Information is arrange by topic, allowing readers to quickly hone in on their key areas of interest. Topics vary each issue, depending upon key publications that have been made in the last month.

After hours medical care

Worried about how to ensure you have access to after hours medical care? View Age Concern New Zealand's factsheet that will help you make an after-hours medical care plan

Waitemata District Health Board Early Discharge and Rehabilitation Service (EDARS)

is a short-term intensive rehabilitation programme provided in a patient's home. The at-home programme is similar to that provided in the hospital rehabilitation wards. It is aimed at people over 65 (55 for Māori or Pacific people) identified as likely to regain a significant level of independence if they receive an intensive short-term rehabilitation programme. For more information visit

Get up, get dressed, get moving!

Most older adults living at home take at least 900 steps per day. However, research shows that while in hospital most patients only walk around 250 steps per day.
Being less active may mean you have to stay in hospital longer and possibly need time in a rehabilitation ward.
Remaining active is as important for your recovery as your medical treatment.
By keeping active you will be ready to leave hospital sooner, and return to your usual activities at home. Read Waitemata District Health Board's flyer Get up, get dressed, get moving!


Dispose of Unwanted Medicines Properly

Return you unwanted medicines to your pharmacy for FREE. If you live in Auckland you can return your unwanted medicines to your pharmacy for safe disposal.

This is all we need to do... it really is easy

Step 1

Sort through your medicines cabinet

Step 2

Take expired and unwanted medicines to your local pharmacy

Step 3

Give them to your pharmacist for proper disposal, and...

Step 4

Tell your friends and relatives about the D.U.M.P Project.

Read the flyer for more information

Preventing pressure injuries

A pressure injury is an area of damaged skin and flesh caused by staying in one position for too long (eg prolonged sitting or lying). Or if you are sitting up in bed, sliding down can injure your bottom or heels.
Pressure injuries are also sometimes known as bed sores, pressure sores, pressure areas, or pressure ulcers.
They can develop in a matter of hours and usually begin with the skin changing colour.
Pain or discomfort may occur.

The first sign of a pressure injury can be a discoloured area that does NOT turn white when pressed.

The NZ Wound Care Society; Ministry of Health; Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand and ACC have recently produced a pamphlet adapted from originals developed by Counties Manukau Health and ADHB. Click here to view.

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Health Insurance - Do You Need It?

With New Zealanders offered some of the best free public healthcare in the world, private health insurance is arguably very much a luxury and not a necessity. Waiting lists aside, Kiwis enjoy comprehensive medical treatments when they need them, and free aftercare. Irrespective of your income level, savings or age, you have the same right to medical care as the next New Zealander when you need it.

This guide covers:
Health Insurance Basics
Choosing a Policy that Covers You
"Not Covered" vs "Exclusions"
Private Insurance: Your 11 Need-to-knows
Health Insurance Best Buys
Claiming on Your Health Insurance
Find out more

Find your nearest Age Concern