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Rural Medical Immersion Programme (RMIP) teaching centres

RMIP students have the opportunity to take placements at any of these teaching centres.

RMIP teaching centre map of the seven centres: Tararua, Wairarapa, Marlborough, Westland, Ashburton, Clutha, Southland.


Ashburton township has a population of 19,600 persons and the surrounding district adds another 15,200 persons to the wider Ashburton District. Ashburton Hospital is part of the Canterbury DHB. It has 74 beds and offers secondary level care in medicine, surgery and gynaecology with associated and comprehensive ancillary/community services. This is supported by rural specialists and visiting clinicians. Mental health services, hospital level care of the elderly are provided locally.

Ashburton health services are very strongly supported by the community through the Advance Ashburton Community Foundation with connections to other community bodies. The Rural Health Academic Centre has been set up in Ashburton to provide health service training with an excellent investment in simulation. Ashburton has two modern primary care centres well providing for local health services and the Ashburton district is also served by practices in Methven and Rakaia.


Clutha Health First was set up by its community with the aim to ensure the continuing provision of the best possible range of services for the Clutha community. It is community owned and operated. The hospital is in the commercial centre of Balclutha, 80 km south of Dunedin. Balclutha—with a population of just under 5,000—is the geographical and service centre of the Clutha District which has a population of 18,186 people.

The hospital has 17 beds, including three maternity beds. It supplies community services, and has a comprehensive outpatient service. It also rents out space to general practitioners, physiotherapists, lab providers, and x-ray providers, thus providing all those services under one roof.

Greymouth and Westland

The Grey Base Hospital is located in Greymouth and operated by the West Coast District Health Board.

Greymouth has a population of 9,700 and Grey Base Hospital is brand new has 92 beds. Teaching occurs in Grey Base Hospital, Greymouth practices and Westport (pop 4000). The West Coast is a rugged remote region which is serviced by Grey Base hospital. The DHB employs the general practitioners in Greymouth Medical Centre and all are located in a new hospital and primary care centre. Coastal Health is a privately owned general practice operating from new purpose built facility. Greymouth is well served with primary care, physiotherapy, mental health services and a strong supporting ancillary service. Westport Medical Centre is also operated by the West Coast DHB, primary care is supported by a hospital with ten medical beds.


Wairau Hospital is in Blenheim, a rural town in the north of the South Island, in Marlborough. It has recently been redeveloping its hospital, and this is now complete. All services expected in a hospital of this size are available, including mental health services, midwifery, internal medicine, surgery (orthopaedic, general, ENT, and ophthalmology), and paediatrics.

Most of the primary healthcare teaching occurs in Kaikoura (population 3,900), Murchison (population 624), and Takaka (population 1,223). Students from Blenheim spend a little time in Nelson Hospital (173 beds).

The programme is primary care-based with very adequate hospital attachments.


Lakes District Hospital offers limited emergency and acute care and maternity services. Regional base secondary hospital services are one-and-a-half hours away, in Invercargill.

Students in Queenstown are based at Lakes District Hospital and the town's main primary care practice, and those in the surrounding areas.


Dannevirke Community Hospital and Health Centre is in Tararua, a large rural district situated on the east side of the Ruahine ranges. It extends from Norsewood (in the north) to Mount Bruce (in the south), and to the eastern coast. There are two main towns in the district: Dannevirke, with a population of approximately 6,500; and Pahiatua with a population of 3,500.

Palmerston North is a 40-minute drive from Dannevirke, and is where the base hospital is situated. Palmerston Hospital supplies a full range of secondary services, and a tertiary oncology service.

The community hospital provides GP medical beds, a maternity unit, x-ray and ultrasound, a variety of visiting specialist clinics, a lab collection service, and a community mental health service.


Wairarapa Hospital is set in the heart of the region, and provides a full range of secondary medical, surgical, and O&G services. It is a teaching hospital with links to the University of Otago, Wellington (UOW), the University of Otago Medical School, and the Bachelor of Nursing programmes run through the Universal College of Learning (UCOL) campuses at Palmerston North and Masterton.

The purpose-built NZ$30 million hospital was opened in 2006. It has up to 92 beds, and covers all aspects of secondary healthcare.