For GPs and Health Professionals

Our Services

Our services are regularly reviewed to cater for changing unmet need within the public health system and the availability of our volunteer specialists. Click here for information about our dentistry and oral surgery requirements.

ERMS referrals are preferred, including a request, pertinent consultation notes, past medical History (Problems), Medications, Warnings and Observations including BMI. Attach supporting documents to the ERMS referral.

Supporting documents must include a completed Referral and Declaration form and, for most referrals, a formal NZ Health (Canterbury) decline of service. Occasionally other documents maybe requested.

Patient criteria for surgery

Patients are screened medically and financially before an offer of service is made. This is a two-step process starting with a formal referral including the signed declaration. We ask that the referrer is actively involved in the declaration as the presumption is that GPs have some awareness of their patient’s health and financial status. The second stage includes a self-reported health questionnaire and a more detailed application for financial assistance. 

Canterbury Charity Hospital

Our Current Services

Updated June 2023

Canterbury Charity Hospital is a day care charitable facility; we do not have overnight care facilities on site. Our services will fluctuate from time to time dependent on the numbers of volunteer staff available at that time. We are closed over the Christmas holiday period, weekends and public holidays.

Dietetic advice

General and specialised advice related to most health conditions including pre- and post-surgery advice and weight loss management.


Limited dermatology services are provided to patients aged 16-25 years with significant mature acne scarring. Management of ongoing active acne is not offered. 

In addition to the normal referral process, please complete the following assessment documents, guidance notes and assessment form and at least 2 colour photos of good quality.

Endoscopy (Colonoscopy/Flexible Sigmoidoscopy)

Symptomatic patients with rectal bleeding
Unexplained rectal bleeding for six weeks or more, patient aged up to 59-years-old. Visit HealthPathways for more information about the criteria.
Note:  Patients referred and accepted to the Rectal Bleeding pathway proceed to flexible sigmoidoscopy.

Symptomatic patients without rectal bleeding
Patients referred for colonoscopy require a standard referral process including a formal decline of colonoscopy from the public system.

Referral guidelines for CRC Screening
Category Two Patients as follows: One first-degree relative with CRC diagnosed before age 55 years, or two first-degree relatives with CRC diagnosed at any age. Recommendation is colonoscopy every five years from age 50 years (or from an age 10 years before earliest age at which CRC was diagnosed in the family, whichever is earlier).

Referrals for Post-CRC Surveillance
Currently surveillance for patients with a personal history of CRC is ceased once the patient is aged 75 years – we will see such patients if they meet our criteria for day surgery management and are able to safely take the bowel preparation at home (ASA 1 and 2 only).

Note: The Canterbury Charity Hospital is unable to offer a diagnostic service for the investigation of abdominal pain and diarrhoea.

Eye surgery


Cataract surgery with a national prioritisation score and decline from NZ Health (Canterbury). We also need a completed Christchurch Hospital ophthalmology referral score sheet with a National Prioritisation Score attached.

General surgery

Most hernia types, pilonidal disease, hemorrhoids, anal fissure etc.

Gynaecology, women's health and family planning

We offer tubal ligation, Mirena and gynaecology procedures.

Orthopaedic surgery - hand, upper limb and foot surgery

Carpal tunnel decompression, Dupytrens contracture, Trigger finger, Bursa, Arthrodesis distal joints, Hammer Toe correction, Tenotomy Toe, Removal bone spur, Excision neuroma, Tarsal tunnel release, Toe amputation, Tailors bunion excision and Bunion surgery (minor to moderate day surgery compatible).

Rectal Bleeding Clinic


  • Aged up to 59 years
  • History of rectal bleeding for at least 4 weeks
  • No other colorectal signs or symptoms
  • No health insurance

This clinic has been developed as a joint initiative between the Canterbury Charity Hospital and Health New Zealand (Canterbury) to meet unmet need.

Please request PR bleeding clinic on your referral request. Patients will be seen weekly at the Charity Hospital.

This service is for patients who do not have any other colorectal signs or symptoms ie have low risk of colorectal cancer.

These particular patients do not have to be declined publicly funded treatment to be referred to this clinic.

Patients will have appropriate investigations and treatment (eg flexible sigmoidoscopy and treatment of their condition eg banding or injecting of haemorrhoids and biopsy of polyps). Subsequent colonoscopy may be required as a result of investigations and these will be done primarily at the Canterbury Charity Hospital or the NZ Health (Canterbury)for those deemed more urgent.


We provide vasectomy, adult circumcision (secular only), penile correction of Peyronie’s disease and non-lobulated hydrocele.

Anaesthetic guidelines

Patient selection is important. Volunteer anaesthetists have agreed that we will offer surgical treatment to patients in ASA Classes 1&2 only.

ASA stands for American Society of Anaesthesiologists. New Zealand Anaesthetists have adopted the ASA system for classifying the pre-operative physical status of patients. Below is the classification, with definitions (often abbreviated as ASA1, ASA2, etc):

Class 1 Healthy patient, no medical problems
Class 2 Mild systemic disease
Class 3 Severe systemic disease, but not incapacitating
Class 4 Severe systemic disease that is a constant threat to life
Class 5 Moribund, not expected to live 24 hours irrespective of operation

Training and education

The Canterbury Charity Hospital also provides professional training, development and education for clinicians and also provides work experience for student nurses and other health professionals. Our interactive technology in our two theatres enables us to also run educational seminars.

Open evenings for GPs and other Health Professionals

If your group would like to attend one of these evenings, please email us at

training room