Pharmacies, also called ‘chemists’ locally, are prevalent in New Zealand’s big towns and cities and can often be found attached to hospitals. Although there are many pharmacies that stay open late into the night, 24-hour pharmacies are rare.
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.
New Zealand is extremely safe, with almost no dangerous species of animals and a relatively low risk of deadly diseases. As with travel to most countries, expats should speak to their doctor before travelling to ensure that they have the appropriate vaccinations.
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.