SmartHealth out of hours doctors

Sometimes you need to talk to a doctor out of hours, when your local doctor is closed or an after-hours service is too far away.


SmartHealth makes it convenient and easy to get the care you need, when you need it, using the free HealthTap app on your smart phone, tablet device or computer.

Using video, voice or text chat, you can talk to a qualified NZ registered doctor about your health issue and get the advice you need. It's just like a normal appointment, but you can do it from wherever you are. Best of all, it's FREE. 

This service is available:

  • Monday to Friday 6pm to 11pm
  • weekends and public holidays 8am to 8pm.
Link to video about SmartHealth out of hours doctors. (external link)

How to have an out of hours doctor appointment

You need to sign up with SmartHealth and activate your account before you can have an online appointment with an out of hours doctor. Find out more about getting started with SmartHealth.

Follow these steps to have an out of hours doctor appointment.

  1. Open the HealthTap app (smart phone or tablet) or go to http://smarthealth.healthtap.co.nz(external link) in a web browser.
  2. Log in using your personal email address and SmartHealth password.
  3. Click on the Ask Docs button on the app menu.
  4. Enter details of what the consultation is about in the Enter your question here field.
  5. Click on the Continue button. 
  6. Choose the After-hour doctor service.
  7. Follow the instructions and answer any questions you are asked.
  8. Choose between a Text Chat, Voice Call or Video Call
  9. You will be connected with a doctor. 

For more detailed instructions, please read the Out of hours doctor service guide [PDF, 354 KB]

What out of hours doctors can help with

Our out of hours doctors can help with advice and simple medical problems, prescribe if necessary, and fax the prescription to your local pharmacy. If your condition is more serious, you may be advised to visit a hospital or after hours medical clinic, or to wait and see your own doctor if it’s safe to do so.

Notes from the consultation are sent to the GP you are registered with so they know any action that has been taken. The notes are also available in HealthTap for you to view.

Frequently asked questions

Is it safe to have an online consultation?

We have really good evidence that not everyone needs to be seen face to face – many people can be safely helped online. However, if the doctor feels that an online consultation is not the safest option for you, they will advise you to visit a hospital or after hours medical clinic, or wait and see your own doctor if it’s safe to do so. Patient safety is incredibly important to us and we monitor the service to ensure it is safe. The doctors will always err on the side of caution. 

Do the doctors have access to my current medical files?

The doctor can only see what you have entered in HealthTap – so it’s important that the you put in information about allergies and medications you are taking for instance. The doctor can also access Waikato Hospital records.

Can the online doctors order tests?

Not currently, but we are hopeful this will be possible in future.

How is the out of hours service different from Healthline?

Healthline is a really good national health service which uses an 0800 number to put you in touch with a qualified nurse who can provide recommendations and information. Our service is run by doctors, which means they can diagnose, prescribe and give more comprehensive advice than the Healthline nurse triage service can.

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SmartHealth is available to everyone covered by Waikato DHB services.