Stay well this winter

WellSouth has tips to help you stay well this winter with information on where to seek help when you need it. General practices are often very busy in winter, but there’s plenty of help you can get before you need to see a clinician. Be prepared and act early.

24/7 advice

If you’re unsure what you – or a member of your whānau needs - call Healthline on 0800 611 116.

It’s free, 24/7, 365 days of the year.

Community Providers

Your local Pasifika or Hauora Māori provider may have vaccination, screening and other clinics. Go to to find the right one for you. 



Pharmacies can provide advice and care on numerous health conditions, including:

-    Treatment for UTIs and conjunctivitis.

-    Advice and support for cough/colds, sore throats, constipation/diarrhoea.

-    Over the counter medication like paracetamol.

-    Covid and other immunisations.

-    First aid and wound care.

Tips for the little ones

Healthline can advise on whether you can wait and see a GP or need more urgent care.

To help, be prepared:

-    Keep paracetamol for children at home.

-    Make sure you have a thermometer to check temperatures.

-    Ensure immunisations are up to date.

-    Remember pharmacies can provide care and support too.

General Practice

Your general practice will give medical advice and care, but it might be hard to get a same-day appointment, especially during the winter months. Where possible, book appointments ahead of time, especially for your repeat prescriptions.

After hours

Some GPs provide care after-hours. But most others will have after-hours telehealth options, where a nurse or general practitioner can give you advice over the phone. In rural communities, this service will often be provided by Ka Ora.

In some places like Dunedin and Invercargill, there are after-hours doctors.

-    For Urgent help in Dunedin, contact Urgent Doctors on 03 479 2900.

-    For After-Hours help in Invercargill, contact to book an appointment at the After-Hours Clinic on 0800 456 138.

For Emergencies, call 111.

To talk to someone, call 1737.