Patients who arrive at Queenstown's emergency department would be assessed by a GP to determine whether they need emergency care under a proposed revamp of Wakatipu health services.
It is one of several possible changes set out in a Southland District Health Board consultation document.
Under the proposal, patients arriving at the Lakes District Hospital emergency department would first be seen at a new 24-hour general practice on site.
If the patient does not require emergency care, they will be treated by one of the practice's GPs and charged for the service.
Those patients assessed as needing emergency treatment will be seen at the emergency department, free of charge.
It is also being suggested the ageing hospital be extended and upgraded to accommodate a new integrated family healthcare centre, described as a one-stop shop for Wakatipu health services.