Before Your Admission

We are here to help you prepare for your surgery.

Dunedin is currently at Covid-19 Alert Level One

Patient safety is at the heart of everything we do at Mercy Hospital. We ask that all visitors sign in using the NZ Covid Tracer app (QR codes located at entrances), or manually sign in at reception. If you are unwell, please stay at home. We appreciate your cooperation in keeping Mercy Hospital a safe place for all of our patients.

Getting prepared for surgery - what to organise in advance

Once you have seen your surgeon and it has been decided that you are to have surgery at Mercy, staff at your surgeon's rooms will give you either a physical or electronic admission pack. This pack includes important information for you to read and a hospital admission form that you need to complete and send back to us before your surgery date.

Electronic admission forms can be submitted using your mobile phone or computer. If returning paper admission forms please allow enough time for postage. 

Pre-operative tests

In your admission pack, you may have laboratory forms for tests. In order to keep you healthy during your stay at Mercy Hospital, we require patients who have attended other healthcare facilities in New Zealand and abroad to be screened. We suggest that you obtain all required screening tests (e.g. pre-operative blood tests) at the same time to save you another trip to the lab.

Please ensure that all tests are completed at least two weeks prior to your surgery date. 

If you have been given a laboratory form in case you require a blood transfusion, this blood test needs to be done no more than 72 hours prior to your surgery. 

Pre-admission process

Almost all patients who come into Mercy Hospital for an operation can expect to receive a telephone call from one of our preadmission nurses. The phone call will last for around five to 15 minutes. Discussion will include requesting information about your current health status, medications and any drug or food allergies.

The nurse will also discuss and follow up on support you have put in place for once you have been discharged home. This is a good time to start thinking of your discharge plan. Please refer to our planning for discharge information to assist you in your planning.

Most patients who are being admitted to Mercy will also be contacted by their anaesthetist and in some situations by their surgeon prior to surgery. This may be in person or by phone.

If you are attending a pre-admission appointment in person, please visit Mercy Hospital Reception on arrival and staff will direct you to the appropriate area. In person pre-admission appointments may take an hour to an hour and a half.

Following the pre-admission phone calls or appointment with your anaesthetist, you should know:

  • The time you need to arrive at the Hospital for your surgery.
  • When you need to stop eating and drinking.
  • What medications you should be taking on the day of your surgery.
  • Requirements for showering. 

Please note that Mercy Hospital does not organise convalescent care, however we may be able to put you in touch with support services who can help.

We have also prepared a pre-admission checklist (below) to assist you in preparing for your stay, as well as a planning for discharge checklist.

Pre-admission checklist

  • Make sure you have read the following sections of our website, and ask a friend or family member who will be supporting you to read it too:
    'Getting prepared for surgery - what to organise in advance.'
    'Planning for discharge.'

  • Paperwork
  • Complete the Patient Admission Form (either electronically or paper copy). 

  • Complete the Pharmacy Information Form. (If you hold a Community Services Card, Pharmaceutical Subsidy Card or SuperGold Card please advise on this form.)

  • Obtain a list of all current medications from your pharmacist and bring the list and the medications with you to Hospital.

  • Please return this completed paperwork to Mercy Hospital. It is important that we receive these forms at least one week prior to your surgery date. Please allow two weeks for postage.
  • Check any specific pre-admission instructions from your specialist.
  • Plan for support following your discharge. For example, you will need someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours (or longer depending on surgery type), you can pre-prepare meals, arrange for someone to help to feed / walk pets.

  • Arrange transport to and from the hospital (discharge time is 10.00 am - 11.00 am).

  • Pack everything you need to bring including all the medications you are currently taking. Please ask your pharmacist to dispense the medications in their original containers/boxes - blister packs cannot be accepted. (Refer to the 'what you need to pack' section below.)

  • When completing your admission forms, you will be given the choice of staying in a single or shared room. We will make every effort to accommodate your preference, but this will depend on availability.

What you need to pack

Day stay patients at Mercy Hospital

The following is a guide for what you will need to bring with you on the day of your procedure:

  • Copy of your current medications from your Pharmacist.

  • All medicines and inhalers (in original containers/boxes - not blister packs) that you are currently using or have recently taken.

Stay over patients at Mercy Hospital

If you are staying overnight or longer, bring along with you the following (in addition to the above):

  • Slippers with non-slip soles. 

  • Loose fitting comfortable daywear and nightwear - a change or two depending on how many days you will be staying. Wearing your own clothes during the day in hospital helps prepare you for managing dressing at home. 

  • Toiletry requirements and other personal necessities. 

  • Items that you usually use or may have been given to use by an Occupational Therapist such as “helping hand” or sock applicator and your patient activity sheet if your surgeon has provided you with one of these. 

Children at Mercy

Children are admitted to Mercy Hospital through the Coolock Day Surgery Unit (DSU). You will meet the nurse who will be caring for your child. A parent / guardian can accompany your child into theatre and stay with them until they are asleep. Following surgery and recovery, your child will return to the day surgery unit if they are a day case, or to the McAuley Ward if they are staying the night. If your child is staying overnight they may have a tube in their arm that will allow nurses to give pain relief as required. 

Please bring your child's:

  • Comfortable clothing / pyjamas (if staying overnight). 

  • Special toy, blanket or book.

  • Own toiletries (including nappies if needed).

  • Inhalers or regularly used medications.

  • Bottles, formula or drinking cup if required.

Accommodation for parent / guardian

Accommodation in a recliner chair (that can pull out into a bed) is complimentary for one parent when a child aged 12 or under is required to stay overnight. For children aged 13 years and over, a fee will be charged for a parent who requests to stay overnight. To comply with fire safety regulations and to ensure patient safety, we are unable to accommodate a parent in a bed unless a double room is available. All parent meals incur an additional cost.

Visiting hours

Parents/whanau are welcome to visit their child at any time.

Patients: Please do not leave your vehicle in the car park or bring valuables with you to the Hospital.
Mercy Hospital is unable to take responsibility for the security of these items.

Planning for discharge checklist

Planning ahead will make for a much easier transition between hospital and home. You need to consider the following:

  • You need to arrange to have a responsible adult stay with you for the first 24 hours (or longer depending on surgery type) after your surgery, or arrange to stay with family or friends. If this is not possible, you will need to consider and arrange an alternative. 

  • For those who provide care for other dependents, you may need to consider making alternative arrangements in the short term. 

  • Preparing meals ahead of your admission and freezing them can make it easier to manage when you return home. 

  • If you will need to use crutches or your mobility is going to be affected by your surgery, think about the placement of furniture and rugs at home. The location of everyday items such as saucepans and crockery may need to be changed ahead of your return home. 

  • Many people are surprised at the time it takes to recover from an operation even if it is a minor procedure. It is common to feel tired and you may need to set aside some time in the day to rest. 

  • Please make sure you have arranged for a relative or friend to drive you home from the hospital on the day you are discharged, you will not be able to drive yourself. 

Payment information

Estimated cost of treatment
You have a right to be fully informed about the cost of treatment options. Please be sure to discuss the estimated total cost of your treatment with your surgeon before you are admitted for surgery.

We recommend that you request a written summary of the cost estimate. This estimate should show the cost of fees for healthcare professionals (e.g. surgeon, anaesthetist) as well as the costs for Mercy Hospital's services. 

If you have not received a written cost estimate prior to your admission and you proceed with your surgery, you will still be responsible for all costs incurred in connection with your hospital stay. 

Invoices you will receive
Following your surgery, you will usually receive separate invoices from:
- Your surgeon.
- Your anaesthetist.
- Mercy Hospital.
- Other health care professionals who may be involved in your treatment. For example, physiotherapists, occupational therapists.

Payment terms
Payment of your Mercy Hospital invoice is due within 14 days of the invoice date. Mercy Hospital reserves the right to charge interest at 2% per month (24% per annum) on all unpaid balances owing after one month from the date of invoice.

Patients with health insurance
If you carry health insurance, please contact your insurer prior to your surgery and apply for pre-approval.

Patients with Southern Cross health insurance
As Mercy Hospital is an affiliated provider to Southern Cross there are a number of surgical procedures called 'affiliated provider procedures' for which Southern Cross members do not need to seek prior approval. Your surgeon will advise you whether or not your procedure is an affiliated provider procedure.

Southern Cross affiliated provider procedures:
If your procedure is an affiliated provider procedure then all you need to provide Mercy Hospital with is your Southern Cross membership / policy number and we will handle the prior approval and claim for you. You will receive an invoice from Mercy Hospital for any excess and/or items not covered by your insurer. 

Southern Cross non-affiliated provider procedures:
If your procedure is not an affiliated provider procedure then you will need to obtain Southern Cross prior approval before your surgery. Following surgery, you will need to complete and submit a health insurance claim to Southern Cross. You will be required to pay any excess and/or items not covered by your insurer.  

ACC patients
You must have prior approval from ACC before your surgery can go ahead. Please note that if you choose a single room in preference to a four bed ward room, you will be charged a surcharge for each night of your hospital stay. 

Self funding patients
If your surgery is not covered by health insurance or ACC, you may be asked to pay a deposit for the estimated Mercy Hospital costs relating to your procedure. 

More information
If you have questions about the fees associated with your surgery, please contact your surgeon's rooms. You can also email or phone Mercy Hospital accounts staff (03 467 6654).

Mercy Hospital's payment terms are available here. 

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