Frequently asked questions

About the consultation

Are any health concerns not suitable for a virtual consult?

CareHQ may not be appropriate for all medical conditions or concerns. If you have a medical emergency, immediately call 111.

A virtual consult would not be suitable if you have a serious or urgent problem that requires a physical examination. Some examples of this include:
Severe chest pain

Shortness of breath

Sudden allergic reaction

Poisoning

Severe bleeding

Severe burns

Suspected broken bones

Traumatic head injury

Severe headache, pain or loss of co-ordination

Sudden numbness, weakness or slurred speech

Persistent vomiting, vomiting or coughing up blood, inability to control bowel movements (pooing) or urination (peeing)

Considering self-harm or suicidal thoughts

You are in serious mental crisis

If you have language difficulties, unless you have requested a GP that speaks your primary language or can get access to an interpreter during the consultation.

If you have hearing difficulties, you may find video difficult. If you are visually impaired, you may prefer a telephone consultation

How long is a CareHQ consultation?

A CareHQ consultation allows for ten minutes of face-to-face online time with a GP.

What if I need more time?

No problem. Ten minutes is a guide for the face-to-face online time you'll have with a GP - if you need more time, you'll be able to continue your consultation at no extra cost or have the option to rebook in case the GP has another appointment scheduled.

Can anyone use CareHQ?

Yes, anyone can use CareHQ.

Even visitors to New Zealand, including international students and tourists, can use CareHQ - it's less than a $120 walk-in consultation*.


You can book a CareHQ consultation for a child if you're their parent or legal guardian. If the child is 13 or under, CareHQ suggest the CareHQ profile holder attends the virtual consultation with them.


Any family members aged 16+ years can create their own CareHQ profile and book their own consultation.


*Based on the cost of a casual non-New Zealand resident consultation.

Can I use it for my children?

Yes, you can use CareHQ for a child if you're their parent or legal guardian. If the child is 13 or under, CareHQ suggests the CareHQ profile holder attends the virtual consultation with them.

Any tips for a great consultation experience?

If your workplace has strong network security try using your personal internet connection on your personal device

Wherever you are, make sure you've a good internet connection and stay in one place

Find a private and quiet space to have your consultation

Have your payment card ready

It might be helpful for you to have a note of your usual medication or have your medication on hand

You don't need to stay glued to your screen or keep the CareHQ app open while you're waiting for your consultation to start, CareHQ will send you an email and a SMS / text message you when your GP is ready to connect

Have the name of your usual GP practice and the name of your preferred pharmacy on hand in case you need a prescription as it will be sent to your preferred pharmacy for you to collect

How does the GP know what's wrong if they can't see me in person?

Seeing you in person isn't as important as you'd think. It's your medical history and symptoms that really matter. The GP will see you clearly on a video screen and ask you some key questions to find out how they can best care for you.

If there's a problem with your internet connection your GP may need to complete the consultation over the phone.

How does it work if my CareHQ GP says I need a physical examination?

The CareHQ GP would recommend you see your usual GP for a physical examination.
Or they can recommend a GP in your area.

The physical consultation will be a new consultation for which you'll need to pay the GP directly.

How many virtual consultations can I book?

As many as you like. Care HQ are there for whenever you need them 7 days a week, 7am - 7pm.

What if I'm not happy with the consultation?

CareHQ are committed to providing you the very best quality of care.
Please let the GP know straight away if you have any concerns so they can provide the care you need.

If for any reason you're not happy with the care you received, you can provide feedback on the Feedback Form on the CareHQ website or the CareHQ app menu (accessed either directly through the CareHQ app or via the My Southern Cross app).

Can I book for my family members?

You can book a CareHQ consultation for a child if you're their parent or legal guardian. If the child is 13 or under, CareHQ suggests the CareHQ profile holder attends the virtual consultation with them.

Any family members aged 16+ years can create their own CareHQ profile and book their own consultation.

Can I order my prescription through CareHQ?

Yes. That's just one of the reasons why CareHQ is so convenient. At your GP consultation CareHQ will send your prescription to your preferred pharmacy.

There may be some circumstances when CareHQ are unable to provide a prescription for a medication in a virtual consultation due to New Zealand regulations.

If you're overseas your CareHQ GP will be able to have a consultation with you, however they are only able to provide prescriptions within New Zealand. A prescription can be sent to your preferred pharmacy for you to collect when you're back in New Zealand.

Can I use CareHQ for any medical need, sickness or injury?

A CareHQ GP can help treat most medical needs, sicknesses or injuries from a common cold, contraceptive options or concerns, migraines, repeat prescriptions through to acne, health counselling and off-work certificates. In short, most things you'd normally see a GP for.

CareHQ will care for you if you're physically unable to access your GP, if your location is too remote, you're working away from home or holidaying in New Zealand.

You can also seek advice from CareHQ GPs while you're traveling overseas and, in some countries, you may even have access to healthcare. Note that CareHQ is only able to provide prescriptions or referrals within New Zealand. GP advice may be limited due to the legal requirements of the country you are currently in. A prescription can be sent to your preferred pharmacy for you to collect when you're back in New Zealand.

No matter where you are CareHQ brings convenient virtual care to you!

Do I need to enrol or register with CareHQ?

CareHQ only need to collect your personal details* in the CareHQ app so they can identify you and send you consultation notifications. There is no requirement for you to enrol with CareHQ as they're not an enrolling general practice.

You'll still be enrolled with your usual practice, using CareHQ does not change this.

CareHQ simply provides you with a convenient appointment when you need one, if you're unable to see your usual GP.

*Personal details include your National Health Index (NHI) number, first name, last name, middle initial, gender, date of birth, email address and mobile phone number.

Are CareHQ GPs based in New Zealand?

Yes, they are. All CareHQ GPs are based in New Zealand. Importantly, they're experienced and licensed medical practitioners, registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

CareHQ is a New Zealand company and they're proud to support local GPs.

How do I start my virtual appointment?

For a future booking
You'll be sent an email and a SMS / text message confirmation with a secure link for your consultation one hour beforehand. Simply click on the link and it will take you straight through to the consultation.

Tips for a great consultation experience:
If your workplace has strong network security try using your personal internet connection on your personal device

Wherever you are, make sure you've a good internet connection and stay in one place

Find a private and quiet space to have your consultation

Have your payment card ready

It might be helpful for you to have a note of your usual medication or have your medication on hand

You don't need to stay glued to your screen or keep the CareHQ app open while you're waiting for your consultation to start, CareHQ will send you an email and a SMS / text message when your GP is ready to connect

Have the name of your usual GP practice and the name of your preferred pharmacy on hand in case you need a prescription as it will be sent to your preferred pharmacy for you to collect


For a 'see a GP now' booking
You'll be sent an email and a SMS / text message confirmation with a secure link for your consultation as soon as the next available GP has accepted the consultation.

Can I book a follow-up consultation?

If you need a follow-up consultation the GP should talk about this before the consultation ends. The follow-up may be through CareHQ (you may not get to see the same CareHQ GP you've previously seen) or in-person - perhaps with your usual GP.

What happens at the end of the consultation?

The GP will check you understand what they think the problem is - and what should be done about it. This may include any or all the following:
Emailing a prescription to your preferred pharmacy for you to collect

Emailing you a lab test form, for example you may need a blood test

Arranging a follow-up appointment for you through CareHQ

Recommending a follow-up appointment in-person

Writing a referral to a specialist or allied health service

Emailing you some educational material about your condition or problem

How does the GP know what's wrong if they can't see me in person?

Seeing you in person isn't as important as you'd think. It's your medical history and symptoms that really matter. The GP will see you clearly on a video screen and ask you some key questions to find out how they can best care for you.

If there's a problem with your internet connection your GP may need to complete the consultation over the phone.

How does it work if my CareHQ GP says I need a physical examination?

The CareHQ GP would recommend you see your usual GP for a physical examination.
Or they can recommend a GP in your area.

The physical consultation will be a new consultation for which you'll need to pay the GP directly.

Who can I see?

Will I see a registered medical professional in my consultation?

Yes, you will. All CareHQ GPs are based in New Zealand. Importantly, they're experienced, and licensed medical practitioners, registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

CareHQ is a New Zealand company and they're proud to support local GPs.

Can I see a GP now or can I book ahead?

The choice is yours depending on your health needs.

You can choose to;
- see a GP now i.e. the next available GP, or
- you can book ahead at a time that suits you.

Because CareHQ can only hold your payment information for six days the 'book a GP now' option is only able to offer bookings six days ahead.

There's no limit to the number or type of bookings you make. Each consultation is charged individually.

Is my usual GP signed up to CareHQ?

Any GP registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners can provide their services to CareHQ as a provider of medical consultations. They can also use CareHQ to provide virtual and after-hours care for their practice.

If your GP is not part of CareHQ feel free to mention the service to them.

Will my regular GP be informed about my CareHQ consultation?

The decision is yours.
If the CareHQ GP you see isn't your usual GP, you'll be asked for permission to send a copy of your consultation notes to your usual GP

If you want the notes shared with your GP, you simply need to provide the name of your GP or health clinic.

If you don't want the notes shared with your GP, you may decline giving permission and your consultation notes will not be passed on

CareHQ prescriptions dispensed by pharmacies in some regions of New Zealand, particularly in the Auckland region, are visible by others involved in your care. You'll need to discuss this with the pharmacy if you would like this information withheld.

I'm a Southern Cross member, do I have to have the My Southern Cross app to access the service?

Southern Cross members who have downloaded the My Southern Cross app, can access a member discount of 15%, that's a $10 saving per consultation - so the cost is $55 instead of $65. There are no limits to the number of consultations you can have, but you only get the member discount when accessing CareHQ via My Southern Cross.

If you're a Southern Cross member and would like to download the My Southern Cross app, go here for instructions.

Or you can find out more about joining Southern Cross.

Can I book a follow-up consultation?

If you need a follow-up you and the GP should talk about this before the consultation ends. The follow-up may be through CareHQ (you may not get to see the same CareHQ GP you've previously seen) or in-person - perhaps with your usual GP.

There will be a separate cost for any follow-up consultation.

Price, claims, payment & cancellations

Why is CareHQ priced differently to my usual GP?

When you enrol with your GP practice, the government pays a part of your consultation fee. CareHQ doesn't want to impact the GP practice you're enrolled with, so CareHQ are not enrolling patients and therefore the government isn't contributing to the CareHQ consultation fee.

With CareHQ you're paying for convenient virtual care. When compared with urgent or after-hours services you may find that a CareHQ consultation is more affordable.

I have GP visits on my Southern Cross health insurance plan, how do I claim for this?

A CareHQ virtual consultation is considered the same as an in-person consultation with a GP. At the end of the consultation you'll be emailed your receipt which you can use to claim as you usually do for an in-person GP consultation.

You can see your GP benefit balance in My Southern Cross at any time.

How much does it cost?

A CareHQ virtual consultation is one flat rate of $65.

If you're a Southern Cross member, the cost is $55 for a consultation. You must access CareHQ via the My Southern Cross app to receive your member discount of 15% - that's a saving of $10 per consultation.

Can I cancel or change my appointment?

Yes, you can cancel or change your appointment.

For a future booking
You'll receive four notifications of your appointment:
1. your booking confirmation (email and SMS / text confirmation)
2. a reminder 24 hours before your appointment (email and SMS / text confirmation) and
3. confirmation (email and SMS / text) six hours before your appointment including a link for your consultation.
4. a final reminder confirmation (email and SMS / text) 15 minutes before your appointment including a link for your consultation.

Subject to the below, you can change or cancel your consultation using the links at any of these times. Or go to 'My Appointments' in the CareHQ app (accessed either directly through the CareHQ app or via the My Southern Cross app) and change or cancel your appointment.

You'll be entitled to receive a full refund if you cancel your booking six hours or more before your consultation time. If you wish to reschedule your booking to an alternative time, you will need to cancel your booking six hours or more before your consultation time and then re-book a new appointment.

You'll be charged the full consultation fee if:
You cancel your booking within six hours of your consultation time

You don't turn up for any of your booked consultation time


If you've booked to see 'any GP now'
With this option you receive a consultation with the next available GP so there is no time allowance for you to cancel or change your appointment. You'll receive an email and a SMS /text message confirmation with a secure link for your consultation as soon as the next available GP has accepted the consultation.

See our Cancellation Policy for more details. If you believe you are entitled to a refund, please contact CareHQ at care@carehq.co.nz

How do I pay?

Paying for your consultation is straightforward.

CareHQ will ask for your payment card details through a secure payment process when you book your consultation. They accept bank debit cards and credit cards (VISA, MasterCard).

You'll only be charged when your consultation is successfully completed.

When will I be charged for the consultation?

Your payment card will only be charged once you've successfully completed your consultation.

Your receipt will be emailed to you after your consultation.

You will be entitled to receive a full refund if you have made a future booking and cancel your booking six hours or more before your consultation time.

You'll be charged the full consultation fee if:
You cancel your booking within six hours of your consultation time.

You don't turn up for any of your booked consultation time.

You've booked to see 'any GP now'.

Does my Southern Cross health insurance cover me for a CareHQ consultation?

If you have GP cover as part of your health insurance plan with Southern Cross you may be covered for a CareHQ GP consultation. A CareHQ virtual consultation is considered the same as an in-person consultation with a GP by Southern Cross. You can check your GP benefit balance any time in My Southern Cross.

Search other frequently asked questions

I'm an international student - can I use CareHQ?

Yes. If you're 16 years of age and over, you can create your own CareHQ profile and book your own consultation. CareHQ is a more affordable alternative to a $120 walk-in consultation at a GP clinic*.

*Based on the cost of a casual non-New Zealand resident consultation

I'm a New Zealander travelling overseas - can I use CareHQ when I'm away?

Yes, if you're 16 years of age and over you can create your own CareHQ profile and book your own consultation. CareHQ is more affordable than an overseas doctor*. You can seek advice from CareHQ GPs while you're traveling overseas and, in some countries, you may even have access to healthcare. CareHQ may not be able to provide prescriptions or referrals and their advice may be limited due to the legal requirements of the country you are currently in.

You might want to check the time zones here before you book a CareHQ consultation.

*Based on the cost of a casual non-United States resident consultation in the United States.

Can I order my prescription through CareHQ?

Yes. That's just one of the reasons why CareHQ is so convenient. At your GP consultation they will send your prescription to your preferred pharmacy.

There may be some circumstances when CareHQ are unable to provide a prescription for a medication in a virtual consultation due to New Zealand regulations.

If you're overseas your CareHQ GP will be able to have a consultation with you though they are only able to provide prescriptions within New Zealand. A prescription can be sent to your preferred pharmacy for you to collect when you're back in New Zealand.

Can I book on behalf of my family members?

Yes, you can use CareHQ for a child if you're their parent or legal guardian, but if the child is 13 or under, CareHQ suggests the CareHQ profile holder attends the virtual consultation with them.


Any family members aged 16+ years can create their own CareHQ profile and book their own consultation.

Can I use CareHQ for an ACC consultation?

The CareHQ payment gateway is unable to process ACC subsidies yet. They're working to update this part of their payment system. So, if it's an ACC-related appointment, you'll pay the standard CareHQ rate (or if you're a Southern Cross member, you receive a 15% discount when accessing CareHQ via the My Southern Cross app).

If you have GP cover in your Southern Cross plan and wish to claim the difference between the consultation and ACC subsidy you may prefer to start a new, or continue an existing, ACC claim with your regular GP.

Technical support

Can the GP help if there's a technical problem?

If there's a technical problem with the CareHQ consultation, if the picture freezes or the sound stops from a poor internet connection, the GP will call you on the mobile number you provided when you made the booking. The GP will try and help you or you may need to complete the consultation on your mobile phone.

Should I test the Wi-Fi connection before my consultation?

Testing the internet is a good idea. There'll be a pre-consultation test available while you're in the CareHQ virtual waiting room before your consultation.

What is the minimum phone or tablet requirements for a CareHQ consultation?

Android 5.0 or higher
CareHQ is fully supported on devices with ARMv7 processors required for video calling.

iOS10 or higher, on the following supported devices:
iPhone 6S or later
iPad air or iPad Air 2
iPad Mini 2 or later
iPad Pro (1st generation) or later
iPad (5th generation) or later
iPod touch (6th generation)

Can I access a CareHQ consultation outside the My Southern Cross app, such as via laptop?

As a Southern Cross member, you need to access CareHQ through the My Southern Cross app to book your consultation and receive the 15% Southern Cross member discount. When it's time for your appointment, you can have your consultation via the app or view on your desktop or tablet.

Does the request time out if I'm waiting for a GP to become available?

Once you've booked your appointment, CareHQ will send you email and a SMS / text message confirmation with a secure link for your consultation as soon as the next available GP has accepted the consultation. If there are no GPs available, you'll be able to book for a later time.

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