Abortion Services in New Zealand

Southern DHB

Otago Region: Waitaki District, Queenstown-Lakes District (Wanaka Ward only), Central Otago District, Dunedin City, Clutha District

Licensed institutions

Dunedin Hospital

Street Address: 201 Gt King Street, Dunedin
Postal Address: Private Bag 1921, Dunedin
Phone: (03) 474 7974 (Day Surgery Unit)
(03) 474 7949 Ext 8696 (Gynae OPD)
Facsimile: (03) 474 7722 (Day Surgery Unit)
(03) 474 7603 (Gynae OPD)

Services Provided

Dunedin Hospital is a public, tertiary-care hospital.

First Trimester

Dunedin Hospital provides first trimester abortion services (Surgical and Medical) for all eligible women.

The service is provided at the Day Surgery Unit and Gynaecolgoy Inpatient ward at Dunedin Hospital.


Appointments are made by the referring general practitioner, or practice nurse, by telephone only.

Separate appointments are required for both certification visits, counselling and the operation, (maximum appointments over 4 days). These can often be condensed over 2-3 days by combining appointments on the same day, especially for patients from outside of Dunedin.

Information required from the referrer

NZ residency and personal details, including contact telephone number; parity and gravidity, previous TOPs; LMP, pelvic exam findings, USS yes/no; investigations (HVS, chlamydia and antenatal bloods); History and indications, contraception use at conception; recommended follow-up contraception; MRSA risk assessment.


Patients obtain certification from the Day Surgery Unit certifying clinics. Certifying clinics operate approximately three days a week. One certification for patients from outside of Dunedin is often done by certifying consultants in that area, e.g. Queenstown, Wanaka.


Counselling is available at the Hospital, and is offered to every patient. Counselling is also available post-procedure.

The procedure


The operating procedure is usually available Fridays. The method used is surgical abortion, under general anaesthetic or conscious sedation (women can choose after discussing this with the operating doctor).

Early medical abortion

This process is initiated in the Day Surgery Unit where the process is similar to the Surgical Service. Counselling is mandatory. The procedure begins usually on Thursdays, when the tablet mifepristone is administered. The process is continued on Saturday mornings, when there is an admission to the inpatient ward for day-stay, when misoprostol is administered.


Patients are advised to see their referring doctor post-procedure for follow-up. Patients are given the Day surgery Unit phone number for follow-up if needed but the Unit is closed on Saturday and Sunday.


The service is free for eligible patients. The charge for those ineligible for publicly-funded services (incl GST)

Standard cost for surgery $2039.09

Standard cost for Early Medical Abortion $1827.33

Counselling $139.15 per hour

Interpreter services $75.70 per hour

Second trimester - all grounds, other than fetal anomaly

Second trimester abortion services for non-fetal anomaly grounds are not provided in the Otago District and are organised on a case by case basis. Referrals are arranged through the Day Surgery Unit, Dunedin Hospital.

Second trimester - fetal anomaly

Second trimester abortion services for fetal anomaly are provided in the Queen Mary Maternity Unit, Dunedin Hospital.


All patients require a consultation with the O&G team at Queen Mary. Most patients will already have had an amniocentesis by that team.


About half of the patients see one of the first trimester medical practitioners for one certificate in the Day Surgery Unit of Dunedin Hospital. Otherwise, certification is provided by the O&G team.


Counselling is available at the Hospital, and is offered to, and recommended for, every patient.

The procedure

The method used is a medical induction of labour, using mifepristone (Mifegyne®) and misoprostol (Cytotec®).


Follow-up is provided by O&G team.


The service is free for eligible patients. The charge for non-NZ-residents is at the bed price per day plus costs of procedures, tests and investigations. The pricing is presently under review.

More Information

Information on pregnancy options and services available in Otago is provided by the Public Health South website.

DHB responsibilities

All District Health Boards are required to provide termination of pregnancy services "for those women who meet the criteria provided by the Crimes Act 1961 and the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977". See Ministry of Health. However they may not necessarily provide the services themselves. Accessing accurate, up-to-date and informative details about how individual District Health Boards provide these services, has been extremely difficult. The information provided here is the best that we have been able to obtain for this district to date. We will continue to update the website as we obtain further information.

Last Updated: 17 June 2013