New Zealand has a publicly funded healthcare system, known as the New Zealand Public Health System (NZPHS), that provides residents and citizens with access to a wide range of medical services. Here is an overview of the healthcare system in New Zealand and information on how to access medical services as a new resident.
- Eligibility: The NZPHS is available to all New Zealand citizens and residents, as well as certain work visa holders. Visitors to the country are not eligible for publicly funded healthcare but can purchase travel insurance to cover medical expenses.
- Services covered: The NZPHS covers a wide range of medical services, including general practitioner (GP) consultations, hospital care, prescription medicines, diagnostic tests, and some specialist services. Some services may require additional fees to be paid, such as GP visits and prescription medicines.
- GP visits: GP visits are not free but are relatively inexpensive and are covered by a system of subsidies, which are based on income. GP visits are often less expensive than visiting a specialist, and GPs can refer patients to specialists if necessary.
- Hospitals: Hospitals in New Zealand are publicly funded and provide a range of services, including emergency care, inpatient and outpatient services, and surgical procedures.
- Prescription Medicines: Prescription medicines are not free but are relatively inexpensive and are also covered by a system of subsidies, which are based on income.
- Enrolling: New residents in New Zealand are required to enroll with the NZPHS within three months of arriving in the country. Enrolling is free and can be done by visiting a GP or by filling out an enrollment form at a medical center.
- Emergency care: In case of an emergency, dial 111 and ask for an ambulance. Emergency care is provided free of charge.
- Insurance: New Zealand residents and citizens are strongly encouraged to have comprehensive medical insurance to cover any expenses that are not covered by the NZPHS.
Overall, the healthcare system in New Zealand is widely accessible and offers a range of medical services to residents and citizens. The country’s healthcare system is also affordable, with a system of subsidies based on income. As a new resident, it is important to enroll with the NZPHS within three months of arriving in the country and to have comprehensive medical insurance to cover any expenses that are not covered by the NZPHS.