What support can I get?

Ambulance and emergency care

Anyone in New Zealand who requires urgent treatment for a personal injury is eligible for emergency ambulance transport to a treatment facility within 24 hours of the injury occurring.

What help can I get?

Emergency transport within New Zealand

Emergency road and air ambulance providers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just phone 111.

We have agreements with emergency service providers to pay the cost of that emergency transport within New Zealand.

Transferring to specialised care

If you require more specialised care than the initial health professional can provide, we may also cover your transfer to another treatment provider if the transfer is within 24 hours of emergency admittance. Your need for transfer to more specialised care will be determined by your initial health professional.

A fireman receives severe burns as a result of a fire. Emergency services transport him by road ambulance to the local hospital. Because of the seriousness of the burns, the medical staff arrange for the fireman to be airlifted within 24 hours to the Middlemore Burns Unit to receive specialised care.

Emergency transport outside New Zealand

We may pay the emergency transport costs for an injury outside NZ if all the following apply:

  • you are ordinarily resident in NZ, and suffered a work-related personal injury outside NZ, eg you would have had cover if the injury had occurred inside NZ
  • because of the injury, you incur emergency transport costs from a provider outside NZ
  • the income you received for the employment in which you suffered the injury is considered, for tax purposes, to be income derived in NZ
  • the emergency transport was needed within 24 hours of suffering the injury, and requested by the equivalent of a NZ Police Officer or an NZ Ambulance Operator.

If your claim is accepted, ACC pays the overseas transport provider:

  • the actual invoiced cost of the transport services, or
  • $NZ300, whichever is the lower amount.

What do I need to do to get help?

For injuries:

How am I eligible?

Anyone in New Zealand who requires emergency treatment for a personal injury is eligible for emergency transport to a place of definitive care within 24 hours of the injury occurring. For more information, go to:
Am I covered?

What happens next?

Most ambulance or emergency service providers, eg St John’s, have a Service Agreement with ACC for the delivery of Emergency Ambulance Services, and will claim the cost of your emergency transport back from ACC directly. If this is the case, you won’t need to pay anything more, see EAS providers (external link) for a list of the contracted emergency ambulance services providers.

You may be asked to pay part or all of the cost for ambulance or emergency transport if your transport was:

  • due to health reasons rather than a personal injury, eg from GP to hospital
  • more than 24 hours after the injury occurred.

Private hire

When a transfer by ambulance for non-emergencies (private hire) is arranged, but hasn’t been given prior approval by ACC, you’re liable for the transport costs. This may include transfers to and from a private address or hospital (if not authorised by the hospital).

Transport home from a treatment facility

The cost of ambulance transport ordered by a DHB from hospital to home will normally be met by the DHB under Public Health Acute Services (PHAS) funding, but only if you meet the Ministry of Health’s National Travel Assistance Scheme (external link) criteria for this funding. If transport is ordered by the patient and not the DHB then there’ll be a private hire charge to pay.

Visit St John (external link) for more information about their invoices. For other ambulance providers please contact them directly if you require further information.

National Ambulance Sector Office (NASO)

The National Ambulance Sector Office (NASO) (external link) is a joint venture between ACC and the Ministry of Health. It was confirmed with the formal announcement of the New Zealand Ambulance Service Strategy in June 2009.

NASO’s functions include:

  • progress the Strategy
  • provide a single voice for the Crown on strategic and operational matters regarding Emergency Ambulance Services (EAS)
  • manage and monitor funding and contracts from both parent agencies related to the delivery of EAS.

Related legislation

Reviewed: 6 September 2016