Information for health professionals

To encourage early engagement with the New Zealand health system, the 2022 Special Ukraine Visa holders will be eligible for a one-off fully funded health assessment. However, if there are any abnormal results identified from the TB test, the client must be contacted and offered a second free consultation to discuss the test results and management options.

The initial health assessment can be delivered by either a general practice or by Healthline.

The funded health assessment will be available from 17 October 2022.

In this assessment, health professionals will:

  • support the Visa holders to enrol with a general practice if they don’t already have one
  • do an initial assessment for tuberculosis (TB) and offer testing to screen for TB
  • provide information about what vaccinations the Visa holders may be eligible for and where to get them.

Funded interpreting services are available to support the Visa holders with their spoken language of choice.

A health assessment resource has been developed and added to HealthPathways. This resource has been shared with the primary care sector and existing health professional groups. 

Download the PDF of HealthPathways Funded ‘Initial Health Assessment’ initiative for 2022 Ukraine Special Visa Holders

Interpreting support

General practices should continue to use existing interpreting services where available in their District.

For providers without access to an existing interpreting services arrangement in their District, the all-of-government telephone and video interpreter service (currently delivered by Connecting Now) will be made available by Te Whatu Ora.

The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is funded by Te Whatu Ora. There are no additional charges to providers or patients.

Health assessment criteria and process

To get this health assessment, the person needs to hold a 2022 Special Ukraine Visa and be in New Zealand.

If they are enrolling with you at a general practice, you should complete the usual enrolment process and documentation sighting. There is currently no requirement from the funders that proof of a visa must be seen or reviewed for the client to access the service. They only have to tell the doctor that they have arrived in New Zealand under the 2022 Special Ukraine Policy.

After the health assessment

After completion of the assessment and testing, if there are no abnormal results, the health assessment can be considered completed.

If there are any abnormal results identified from the TB test/s, the client must be contacted and offered a second free consultation to discuss the test results and management options.

Any other health concerns (e.g., diabetes) identified from the first consultation should be followed up through future consultations at a general practice. The client will have to book these consultations separately and will incur the normal charges to see a doctor.

Note that these clients are eligible for access to publicly funded health and disability services at the same level as New Zealand residents and citizens.

Tuberculosis (TB) screening

TB is considered a priority because Ukraine currently has a high rate of TB.

You must discuss any suspected TB cases with secondary care services as appropriate to ensure the right investigations and management are undertaken. Your local Public Health Service (now part of Te Whatu Ora National Public Health Service) may be able to guide you. Follow referral processes for your district; typically, pulmonary TB is managed by Respiratory services and extra-pulmonary TB by Infectious Diseases services, however, this may not apply in all centres. Children aged under 16 years should be discussed with the Paediatric services.

All health practitioners in New Zealand should notify the local Public Health Service if TB is suspected (as per Health Act requirements). This can be done based on clinical/laboratory/radiological suspicion. 

Please call your local Public Health Service if TB is suspected or confirmed. The local hospital operator can connect you to them.

You can also find contact information for the public health service on the Ministry of Health website.

Referral for chest X-rays

Only people aged 11 years and over need a chest X-ray for this initial TB assessment.

However, if a child under 11 years of age has had a previous large Mantoux reaction (and is unable to get an IGRA blood test) or past history of TB, they should be discussed with the local paediatrician (this usually warrants a chest X-ray and review by the paediatrician).

Who to contact during the assessment if you have questions

For acute clinical questions, it is best to discuss the client with an appropriate secondary care clinician. If there are immunisation queries, please contact the Immunisation Advisory Centre for advice. If you have Public Health concerns, contact the local Public Health Service.

How to get paid for the services delivered

To access the funding, general practices will claim via their Primary Health Organisations (PHOs), based on each PHO’s process.

PHOs will then invoice Te Whatu Ora monthly for the services provided, attached together with the monthly reporting to

Payment will be made by Te Whatu Ora to PHOs within 30 working days of the receipt of the invoice and report. Payment is not contingent on proof that the client holds the 2022 Special Ukraine Visa.