Abortion Services in New Zealand

Southern DHB

Waitaki District, Queenstown-Lakes District, Central Otago District, Dunedin City, Clutha District, Southland District, Gore District, Invercargill City

Licensed institutions

Dunedin Hospital

Street Address: 201 Gt King Street, Dunedin
Postal Address: Private Bag 1921, Dunedin
Phone: (03) 4709400 (Day Surgery Unit)
Facsimile: (03) 4709701 (Day Surgery Unit)
Phone 0800TOPSDHB

Services Provided

Dunedin Hospital is a public, tertiary-care hospital.

First Trimester

Dunedin Hospital provides abortion services (Surgical up to 14 weeks pregnancy and Medical up to 9 weeks pregnancy) There is a limited service for pregnancies greater than 14 weeks..

The service is provided at the Day Surgery Unit (DSU) and Gynaecolgy OPD and Inpatient ward at Dunedin Hospital.


Appointments are made by the referring medical practitioner, Family Planning doctor or practice nurse, by telephone only to DSU or 0800TOPSDHB.

Patients can also phone 0800TOPSDHB for information. Essential blood tests, swab tests and scan can be arranged. Counselling is offered.

Separate appointments are required for both certification visits, an USS (if not already done), counselling and the operation. These may 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 (please indicate if it is OK to text or leave voicemail messages), parity and gravidity, previous TOPs, LMP, pelvic exam findings, USS (result if done already), investigations (HVS, STI screen: HVS, chlamydia and antenatal bloods); relevant medical history and indications for TOP, contraception use at conception; recommended follow-up contraception; MRSA risk assessment.

Ultrasound scans

All women who have not already had an USS will be given an USS appointment to confirm gestation at the time of telephone referral to DSU.


Patients obtain certification from the DSU certifying clinics. Certifying clinics are usually on a Thursday but this may vary. One certification for patients from outside of Dunedin may be done by a certifying consultant resident in the woman's home district e.g. Central or South Otago.


Counselling is available at the Hospital, and is offered to every patient. For women resident outside Dunedin it may also be available locally in their home district prior to their Dunedin clinic appointments. Counselling is also available post-procedure.

The procedure

First Trimester Surgical TOP (up to 14 weeks gestation)

The procedure is done under general anaesthetic (asleep) as a day stay up to 14 weeks of pregnancy.

Early medical abortion

This is available for women at up to 9 weeks gestation (from LMP). Women are required to take the medicines at the clinic in dunedin Hospital but will then return home for the miscarriage to occour.

Those women living more than 1-2hrs drive from Dunedin have to make their own arrangements for a place to stay in Dunedin for the 24hrs after taking the second tablets (the misoprostol). This may be with a supportive friend or family or at a motel.


After surgery patients are advised to see their referring doctor post-procedure for any follow-up if necessary but this is not routinely required. Following a medical abortion there is a requirement to have a blood test after one week to ensure successful completion of the process and the Gynae Clinic nurse will follow up by telephone.


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

There is a limited service for pregnancies greater than 14 weeks. Please contact the Day Surgical Unit as soon as possible especially with pregnancies over 12 weeks.

Second trimester - fetal anomaly

Second trimester abortion services for fetal anomaly are provided in Dunedin Hospital for the Southern DHB. These may be undertaken either surgically by D&E or medically, usually as a day case but an overnight stay may be required.


All patients require a referral from the LMC by telephone to the Obstetric Consultant on call backed up by a fax to Dunedin Gynae OP with all the necessary referral information (as indicated above). The woman will be given urgent clinic appointments for consultation and counselling. Should she decide to terminate the pregnancy this will then be arranged.


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

The procedure

Either surgical D&E or a medical process using mifepristone (Mifegyne®) and misoprostol (Cytotec®).


Follow-up is provided by O&G team and the original LMC.


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.

Southland Hospital

Street Address: Kew Road, Invercargill
Postal Address: PO Box 828, Invercargill
Phone: 0800TOPSDHB
Phone: (03) 214 8260
Facsimile (03) 218 6985

Services provided

In September 2012 an early termination service (up to 12 weeks gestation) commenced at Kew Hospital.

Pregnacies over 12 weeks will be referred to Dunein or to a private consultant, Auckland


First and second trimester - all grounds, other than fetal anomaly


Referral is made for counselling only, but the social workers can assist in the choice of clinic and financial and emotional support.

Information required from the referrer

Patient information, history, US scan for gestation, high vagina and chlamydia swabs, antenatal bloods.


Certifying consultants in the Southland area are available in Queenstown and Invercargill. Women referred for termination will be seen by the certifying consultants in the Hospital/Clinic in which the procedure is provided.


Medical follow-up can be obtained on request in the gynaecological out-patient clinic. Post-operative counselling can be obtained on request through social work.


The service is free for eligible patients. The charge for those ineligible for publicly-funded services is set by the hospital providing the procedure. Information about this should be obtained before proceeding to the operation.

Second trimester

Referral is to Dunedin or a private consultant in Auckland.

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: 2 April 2017