Healthcare in New Zealand
Public healthcare in New Zealand
New Zealand’s public healthcare system doesn’t provide for non-residents. Despite this, the state subsidises healthcare costs that are as a result of accidents for both residents and non-residents alike. This unique approach to accident coverage falls under the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).
Private healthcare provides the advantages of giving patients greater control over which doctor or specialist will treat them as well as where and when treatment will take place. Patients may also appreciate the greater levels of comfort that are typically provided to inpatients under private care.
Considering the greater freedom afforded by private healthcare, as well as the fact that expats won’t be covered by New Zealand’s public system until they are granted residency status, expats should have an international healthcare plan in place before making the move.
Pharmacies and medication
Although most medication can be found in New Zealand, some prescription medicine may not be available in the country, so expats should ensure that they can access necessary medication. Additionally, expats who become New Zealand residents may also be legible for a Pharmaceutical Subsidy Card (PSC), which lowers the cost of prescription medication.
The general emergency number in New Zealand, which is free to call, is 111. It should be called in the case of medical, fire or crime-related emergencies. Generally, most hospitals don’t have their own ambulance services, although some private ambulances do also operate in New Zealand.
Emergency services in New Zealand have fast response times, but this may not be the case in rural areas. As with New Zealand’s other medical services, expats can expect highly proficient ambulance staff.
In the case of an accident, costs from using emergency services will generally be subsidised by the ACC. In the event of an emergency that doesn’t result from an accident, expats who are not New Zealand residents will have to pay emergency service costs in full.