Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Everyone is entitled to a vaccination – regardless

Margie Apa interview with John Pulu on NHI number for Pacific

Counties-Manukau DHB Head Fepulea’i Margie Apa says it’s unfortunate Pacific people were asked to present passports while trying to register for a vaccination in Tauranga last week.

Fepulea’i says it’s disappointing but can understand how her fellow medical professionals may have come unstuck.

“I’m hoping it’s a misunderstanding, because our understanding is that our colleagues in that area invited people to bring passports, drivers licenses if they didn’t have their National Health Index (NHI) number,” she says.

“The correct spelling of a name makes a big difference in helping find an NHI number much faster, but certainly you don’t need a passport to get a vaccine or a test.”

“It just makes things go much faster, but, you know, if you don’t have it, just turn up, and we’ll find you on the system.”

“If you’re coming out to be tested, the lines are quite short now, and because we’ve got over the big hump of testing that we wanted to do, we want to encourage our community to just keep coming out if you have symptoms or you’ve been at one of those locations of interest.

“For vaccinations, it’s helpful also to have your NHI number. That just helps us make sure that we can find you, and if you’re coming in the drive-thru, which we’re really keen to promote, that works for a lot of our families.

“There might be a little bit of a wait. Come prepared in the car with some snacks and entertainment if you’ve got young people with you, and again just bring your NHI.”

Find your NHI

You can find your NHI number on:

  • your prescription or prescription receipt;
  • the label of your prescription medicine;
  • a hospital letter;
  • an x-ray or test result;
  • your online patient portal profile, if you are registered with your GP’s online patient portal.

If you cannot find your NHI, you can check with your GP or the pharmacist where you usually take your prescriptions.

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