Find out about ambulance transfers, who they’re for, and the other ways we can help you get to appointments.

When high-need patients move from one medical centre to another, and must be monitored or require special equipment, they are taken by ambulance. This means that our highly trained ambulance staff can watch over them, keeping them safe and as comfortable as possible during the journey. 

Hospital transfers

Two paramedics in the front of an ambulance

For transfers between medical centres and hospitals the staff will arrange the transfer and make the booking. In these cases, the costs of an ambulance transfer are covered by the health service or District Health Board (DHB). If you are a healthcare professional wanting to book an ambulance transfer, you can find out more here.

  Book here  

Waka Ora Health Shuttles

Health Shuttle driver with passanger standing in front of a Health Shuttle

For people who have limited transport but don’t need an ambulance, our Waka Ora Health Shuttle is a great option for GP visits, dentist or specialist appointments. 

Waka Ora Health Shuttle is a koha (donation) based community service, delivered by our trained volunteers, that transports people to health and wellbeing related appointments, and then brings them home again. 

  Find out more   

Private ambulance transfers

2 paramedics smiling outside of ambulance

Friends and whānau can also book an ambulance for non-urgent transfers. This might be to pick up a loved one from an aged care facility and take them to an appointment, or to take someone home after discharge from hospital. This is a private ambulance transfer, and there is a charge for this service. To find out more, please call us on 0800 ST JOHN (0800 785 646) or send an email.



How much does an Ambulance Transfer cost?

If booked by a healthcare professional, the cost of an ambulance transfer is covered by the DHB.  

If the ambulance transfer is a private booking (a member of the public), you will need to pay for the service. The cost depends on the number of kilometres travelled and ambulance availability. 

Ambulance Transfer table of costs
What is a high-need patient? How do we know who’s eligible?

A high-need patient is someone who is relying on staff or equipment to keep them safe. For example, someone who needs oxygen, or who requires a stretcher, or is immobile. Hospital or medical centre staff will determine whether someone is high-need. 

Do I pay for a Health Shuttle?

There’s no charge to use the Waka Ora Health Shuttle but we welcome and appreciate koha (donations). The service is funded by voluntary koha from people who use it, and the generosity of people in the community who donate to us. 

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