More about Healthline

Anyone can call Healthline free on 0800 611 116 for health advice and information, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Healthline is funded by the Ministry of Health and provided by Homecare Medical.

What happens when you call Healthline?

You‘ll speak to a friendly, knowledgable person who will ask you questions about the condition or illness you’re calling about.

  • From your answers, they assess symptoms and make a recommendation for the best thing to do.
  • That might be to see a doctor or go to hospital straight away.
  • If it’s less serious, they can tell you how to take care of yourself – or the person you’re ringing about – at home.

The Healthline team also have access to an extensive database of health providers to point callers to. They can tell callers where to find their nearest after-hours GP service, hospital emergency department, pharmacy, out-of-hours dental surgery etc.

Who provides the advice?

Healthline is staffed by an experienced team who have worked in many different places – including in GP surgeries and hospitals, and for ambulance services. They include nurses, paramedics, health advisors and other health workers.

They use their clinical experience to advise callers on the best thing they can do for their condition or illness.

How can the Healthline team tell what’s wrong over the phone?

They use their clinical experience together with a world-class, successful clinical decision support tool widely used for telephone consultations. It's like having another clinician by their side. The system uses up-to-date information about many different illnesses and the symptoms of those illnesses.

After working through the questions, they will be able to tell you the best thing to do, and how quickly to do it - although they won't tell you what illness you might have.

Why can they only assess someone the caller is with?

They need to ask specific questions to be able to check what is actually happening for that person at that time.

What’s the most common thing people call Healthline about?

The Healthline team gets over 1000 calls a day.

The most common adult illness people ring about is stomach pain. The two most common child illnesses people ring about are fever and vomiting.

If you want to know more about these or other health topics see Conditions and treatments.

What’s the difference between Healthline and PlunketLine?

If your child is well, call PlunketLine on 0800 933 922 and a Plunket nurse can provide advice about child health or parenting. For example, you may have a question about crying, sleeping, your child’s growth, development, behaviour, immunisation, breastfeeding, nutrition, oral health, safety – or want to know more about the Well Child/Tamariki Ora programme.

If your child is unwell or hurt or has any symptoms of sickness, the Healthline team can provide advice about what’s happening and next steps to take The PlunketLine and Healthline teams will work together to make sure that you get the right service and care. Find out more about PlunketLine.

How to give feedback on Healthline

Every month the Healthline team gathers feedback about people’s experience of Healthline and asks people to take part in an online survey. If you’d like to do that, please complete the Experience of the Healthline Service survey.

Your feedback is welcomed at any time – email

How to contact Homecare Medical

Homecare Medical is contracted by the Ministry to provide the Healthline service.

Here's how to contact Homecare Medical.

Privacy and consumer rights

Callers to telephone advice services have the same rights as other consumers of health services. More information can be found on the website of the Health and Disability Commissioner.

Healthline is run by Homecare Medical. The privacy of personal information is very important to us and we are committed to protecting the privacy of every Healthline caller. You can take a look at our privacy policies here.