Healthcare for Migrants in New Zealand – 12 Must Knows

Here are some of the most important things to know about healthcare in New Zealand.


Vital information about the health system

1) How do I pay for my healthcare in New Zealand?
New Zealand’s healthcare system is funded mainly through general taxation. Treatments are usually free or subsidised. Medical treatment is generally very good. Private healthcare is also available.

2) Will I be eligible for publicly funded healthcare?
Yes, provided you are a New Zealand Citizen or you are ordinarily resident in New Zealand.

3) How do I become ordinarily resident?
You need to be a permanent resident or a work-permit holder. The work-permit must be for a minimum of two years at time of issue. If you meet the criteria, your partner and children aged 19 years or under will also be eligible for publicly funded healthcare.

4) When is publicly funded healthcare free?

Public healthcare is free for:

• hospital treatment including 24-hour accident and emergency (A&E) clinics. There are some exceptions, such as for cosmetic surgery.
• children’s immunisations.
• prescription medicine for children under six.
• people with a prescription subsidy card and a high use health card or community services card.
• prescription medicines for all public hospital patients.
• healthcare during pregnancy and childbirth. This covers everything from the diagnosis of pregnancy to pre- and post-natal care for mother and baby. There is no charge for hospital stays.
• general practitioner (GP) referrals to a public hospital for treatment.
• check-ups and basic dental treatment for schoolchildren.
• breast-screening for women aged 50 to 64.
• acute or chronic medical conditions. (In some circumstances a financial contribution may be needed.)

5) What healthcare is subsidised but not free?

• Prescription items.
• Visits to general practitioners.
• Visits to physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths when referred by a GP.
• Most laboratory tests and x-rays.
• Ambulance services.

6) How big a financial contribution towards medical costs will I have to make?

• A visit to your GP in 2019 costs about $85 between around 8:00am – 6:00pm. Visits at weekends or nights cost more. If, however, you join a PHO (Primary Health Organisation – these are government funded and free to join) a visit to your GP will cost approximately $40 – $50. Nearly all New Zealanders have now joined PHOs. It can sometimes take about three months after submitting an application to a PHO to receive lower priced care. It’s advisable therefore to join a medical practice and enrol with a PHO sooner rather than later.

• Many GP’s waive the fee entirely for children under six.

• If your GP prescribes medicines for you, you will pay $5 per item provided you have joined a PHO. Otherwise, you will pay more.

• if you have joined a PHO, you can get a Prescription Subsidy Card once your have paid for 20 new prescription medicine items from 1 February each year. This entitlies you and your family (partner and any children under 18) to free government funded prescriptions for the rest of the year.

• If the prescription is for a non-subsidised medicine, you will pay more for it. Non-subsidised items such as Xenical are available at full cost.

• X-rays cost from $45. A small charge is payable for most laboratory tests carried out by your GP.

• Ambulance services may cost $98

7) How do I register with a GP?
Bring along your passport and permit. You can join whichever practice you like.

8) How long do I need to wait for treatment?
GP’s will usually see you on the day you make an appointment. The government does not fund the public health system generously enough to allow most hospital treatments, other than accident/emergency care, to be carried out immediately. Waiting times for surgery vary from hospital to hospital.

9) What if I need specialist care?
You need your GP to refer you to a specialist. Specialist care is free. Waiting times vary according to region, urgency and type of treatment involved. If you prefer not to wait and opt for a private specialist, you, or your medical insurance, will be required to cover all fees.

10) What role does private healthcare play in New Zealand?

• One-third of New Zealanders are covered by private health insurance. This allows them to bypass the waiting times in the public health system for treatment of non-urgent conditions.

• People who are covered by private health insurance are also entitled to free public health services.

• One-half of all elective surgery in New Zealand is performed privately.

• About one-third of people who have elective surgery are not covered by private insurance, and have to fund the procedures themselves.

• The table below shows typical costs for some of these elective procedures in New Zealand.

Typical costs of Private Procedures in New Zealand are:

ProcedureCost NZ$ in 2019
Prostate cancer – Brachytherapy16,000 – 24,000
Heart valve replacement surgery 58,000 – 78,000
Hernia repair4,000 – 12,000
Cataract removal (eye surgery)3,000 – 5,000
Gall bladder surgery6,000 – 11,000
Total hysterectomy (surgery)7,000 – 15,000
Hip or Knee replacement20,000 – 30,000
Skin cancer removal200 – 2,500
Colonoscopy1,700 – 3,000
Varicose veins7,000 – 10,000
Tonsillectomy4,000 – 6,000
Breast cancer surgery6,500 – 18,000

11) Who can I sue if I am injured?
You cannot sue anyone for compensation. The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) helps to pay for the cost of your care. Injuries from work, home and sports or other leisure activities are covered.

ACC claims may also be made for personal injury caused by a medical mistake or error, sexual assault or abuse, and some work-related conditions.

12) What is the ACC’s role in New Zealand?
The ACC subsidises treatment of accident-related injuries. The patient usually pays a part-charge for the treatment.

If your injury stops you from working, ACC pays compensation, usually based on 80% of your weekly income before tax. It can also help with residential nursing care, home help and childcare, as well as subsidising transport and training costs while you recover.

In some cases involving permanent physical impairment, compensation, or ‘lump sum’, financial payments are also made.

Last Updated: September 2019

References and Further Reading
Primary Health Organisations

Disclaimer: All information is offered in good faith and is believed to be accurate at the time of writing. No liability is accepted. Anyone needing medical advice should refer to an appropriately qualified member of the medical profession.

59 thoughts on “Healthcare for Migrants in New Zealand – 12 Must Knows”

    1. Hello,
      The Ministry of health has an eligibility page that you can check to see if your husband qualifies for subsidised health care .

      Generally, for Work visa holders to be eligible, they need to have a visa to be in New Zealand for two years or more.

      Interim visa holders are eligible if, immediately prior to their interim visa, they were eligible for publicly funded health and disability services (ie. under other criteria).

  1. Hi

    For maternity cover, do you need to be in New Zealand when falling pregnant (2 year work Visa)? If the Visa was granted while already pregnant would this be an issue?

    Thanks Astrid

  2. I am a New Zealand citizen. I reside in Canada. I shall be visiting N.Z. for six weeks. Am I covered by the N.Z. medical system during my visit?

    1. Hi David,

      The NZ govt. eligibility health page says

      ‘A New Zealand citizen is eligible for publicly funded health and disability services. However, if only temporarily in New Zealand, they may not meet the requirements for primary health organisation enrolment. ‘

  3. Hello
    My partner is a NZ citizen and was granted a 12 month visitor’s visa based on partnership.
    Is it true that my partner is not allowed to enter the room with me in a gynecology center/hospital ? I just want him to be with me, because we are planning to have the injectable type of contraceptive- depo provera,
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Rose,

      Thanks for your question.

      Sorry but I don’t know the answer to this one.

      However there may be people in your situation on the ENZ forum who would be able to give you an answer.

  4. Hello.

    I have moved to Auckland and am unsure what I am eligible for.
    I am an Australian citizen with an Australian drivers licence and passport and I am living and working in NZ. I read somewhere that I had to wait 2 years before receiving healthcare benefits, apart from Accident and Emergency where we have the trans-taman reciprocal agreement in place for health care.
    I will require a doctor eventually, as I will be working in NZ for the next 3 years, however because I do not have a work permit (I do not require one as an Australian citizen) can I just turn up to the doctor’s surgery for treatment? Or will I be charged an exorbitant amount of money. Am I eligible to join the PHO as mentioned above? Or would it be in my best interest to seek out a private health care insurance company?
    Your assistance with this is much appreciated.

    1. Hi Kris,

      Australian citizens who live, or are intending to live in New Zealand for two years or more are eligible for publicly funded health services.

      You do not have to wait 2 years to qualify – it is simply your intention to stay in NZ for 2 years that will make you eligible.

      You can register with a PHO and receive publicly funded health services.

  5. Hi!

    Just would like to ask if we are qualified for free public health services here in new zealand. Ive been here nov 2011 on a student visa then got my work visa after finishing the course, expiry would be oct 2013. my wife and son (2yo) is already here as dependent to me. work visa (wife) visit visa (son) will expire same date as mine.
    are we eligible for free health services here? im just concern for my wife and baby.

    we will be applying for another work visa this august. and residency next year.

    -gerard (community support worker NZ)

    1. Hi Gerard,

      Your son will qualify for publicly funded health care as he is in the care and control of his parents who are work visa holders.


      For you and your wife the rules are:

      You and your wife will qualify for publicly funded health care if you each hold a work visa that either:

      • entitles you to remain in New Zealand for two years or more
      • entitles you to remain in New Zealand for a period of time which, together with the time you have already been lawfully in New Zealand immediately prior to obtaining the visa, equals or exceeds two years


  6. Hi,
    My husband and I are both nurses thinking about moving to New Zealand.We are both US citizens.IHave a type 2 diabetes diet controlled and we have a son.what are our options as far as residency and jobs offers?

    1. Hi Riza, our forum is the best place to ask immigration related questions. We have members there who have been in a similar situation to yours, who can share their experiences.

  7. hi
    my fiance and i along with our child 8 months are moving to nz from australia . im nz born and passpport and my fiance and child both australian child also has a dairy intollerence and is on a prescribed baby formula in australia which is heavily subsidised because we are low income there. our income will be realative here so i was wondering if we will qualify for support in paying for this in nz and if the formula is available in nz it is called alfare. also are there any things we need to get organised in regards to health care or can my fiance and child to visit the local medical centre the same way i can?

    1. Hi Tom,

      Your child will be automatically entitled to publicly funded health services as he/she has a NZ parent. Once you are registered your GP will advise on the funding situation for specialised formula for your baby.

      Here is an article that you may find of interest regarding funding.

      You could ask in the ENZ forum to find out if anyone is using alfare.

      If your fiancé is an Australian citizen or permanent resident and intends to live in New Zealand for two years or more then she is entitled to publicly funded health services.

      When your fiancé registers with a health care provider she will need to show her passport and evidence of long term stay (eg, work contract, house long-term lease, ownership, or mortgage).

  8. Hi..I am a NZ citizen who has lived in Canada for many years, I have a property in NZ can, am I covered for the time I spend in NZ usually about 6 months per year, without any problems. Thanks

    1. Hi Wazza,

      Yes as a New Zealand citizen you are entitled to publicly funded health services. Time spent overseas does not affect New Zealand citizens’ eligibility. However, if only temporarily in New Zealand, you may not meet the requirements for primary health organisation enrolment.

  9. Hey there,

    I was hoping someone may have an answer for me.
    I am an Australian moving to New Zealand but I do not have a 2+ year work contract.
    Am I able to sign up for private medical insurance in New Zealand once I have an apartment or do I not qualify for private New Zealand health insurance and would need to get travel insurance instead?


    1. Hi Danielle,

      If you are an Australian citizen and intend to live in New Zealand for two years or more then you are entitled to publicly funded health services.

      When you register with a health care provider you will need to show your passport and evidence of long term stay (eg, work contract, house long-term lease, ownership, or mortgage).

      If you intend to stay in New Zealand for less than two years then you will have limited cover for immediately necessary medical treatment.
      Here are links to the pages:

      Reference 1

      Reference 2

  10. My wife and I, both New Zealanders, are going to to Canada for 6 months and then to England for 6 months.
    Please advise if we are entitled to reciproal health care in (a) England, and (b) Canada, the same as we get in NZ.

    1. Hi Richard,

      New Zealand has a reciprocal healthcare agreement with the United Kingdom for the provision of urgent medical treatment for emergency conditions that occur while in the UK. The agreement covers anyone who is ordinarily a resident and a citizen of New Zealand – regardless of nationality – and treatment will be provided on the same terms as for UK residents.

      However, if visiting the UK on a visitor visa valid for 6 months or less, this care will not extend to routine, non-emergency treatment from a GP or dentist. You will normally have to pay for these services, as well as a charge for any medicines you need.

      The New Zealand Government recommends that travellers hold comprehensive travel insurance, including health insurance.

      There is no health agreement between Canada and New Zealand.

  11. Hi there,

    I’m a New Zealander who has been overseas for the past 20 yrs, my partner (who is Italian) and I wish to return to NZ for good. My boyfriend is 42, I am 49. Unfortunately he has Crohn’s disease. What are his chances of entering the country and finding an occupation?. What is the work attitude in relation to those who suffer from it and what rights does he have? This is our main preoccupation right now, not to mention health costs..I would really appreciate more detailed information as we are hoping to make the move within a year or so.

    Thank you in advance

  12. Hi There,

    My partner and I are hoping to travel to NZ on a 12 month working visa at the end of this year.

    My partner has Type 1 Diabetes…..I cannot find any information on how to access insulin whilst out there and how much it will cost.

    Please can anyone shed light on this or give me some contact details / web details where I can get this information.

    Also…he will need different insurance to mine….any recommendations where to get this?



  13. hello my son is 6 and has crohns disease he takes i fliximab iv infusions and other meds everyday would he be eligable still for free health care even thoigh he has a preexisting condition that still requires treatment . we live in the u.k at present we will be entering nz on a work permit basis when the approperiate job has been foundthanks .

  14. Hi there
    I am holding a 2 years work visa, and have been living in NZ almost 4 years, my partner came join me 12 ago, she is now pregnant, I was just wandering if she has to pay for midwife and giving birth in NZ?

    1. Hi Peter,

      Your partner will be entitled to publicly funded maternity services .

      ‘Pregnant partners of work permit holders whose permit is for two years or more who are not eligible for publicly funded health and disability services in their own right, are eligible for the same maternity-related services as New Zealand citizens.’

  15. Hi,
    Now, I am actually a NZ citizen and a UK citizen. I normally reside in the UK, and have done for the past 2 years, and I have a return ticket back to the UK in Jan. I’ve stuffed my knee up, and need to head to see a Dr, ideally my old GP as she knows me very well. Am I eligible for the cheaper GP rates as I signed up with a PHO while I was still a NZ resident?

    Thanks in advance,

  16. Hello,

    I am a New Zealand citizen. My wife is Japanese. My wife and I are returning to New Zealand next week. We are desperately trying to find suitable insurance for her.

    She will be arriving in New Zealand on a Work Visa, through the Family Stream. Her visa has been current since 31 October 2012. It expires on 31 October 2014. Many insurances we have looked at state that the person being insured needs to have a minimum two year work visa, so that automatically rules her out.

    Or, does the visa kick in for a two-year period from the arrival date? And if so, will the two-year maximum visa she has somehow magically allow her to stay for a minimum of two years as most websites tell us she needs?

    Furthermore, she will not be departing New Zealand as she will apply for Residency after we have arrived. Many insurance policies ask for a departure date so, once more, she is ruled out. We have looked at Comprehensive insurance in japan, but as she is not returning to Japan, she cannot apply.

    My wife needs insurance that will cover her from departure here in Japan to when she has obtained her Residency Visa. It may be up to, or longer than three months. Where can we find a policy that will cater to her needs?

    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Scott,

      Your wife’s visa runs from 31/10/2012 to 31/10/2014 and as such is a two year work visa.

      As your wife has a work visa for two or more years she will be eligible for publicly funded health and disability services.

      See this reference.

  17. Hi, I will be traveling to New Zealand in a little over a week on a working holiday visa for 12 mo. I’ve been researching travelers/medical insurance, but I guess my major concern is the fact that my immune system isn’t the greatest so I get coughs or infections a few times a year. Are there any specific agencies you recommend with no excess fee? I want to be able to pay the premium and then pay as little as possible for the actual visits. If anyone can help it would be much appreciated. Thanks!

    1. Hi Elizabeth, here’s a discussion on our forum about medical insurance in New Zealand.

      We’d rather not make commercial insurance recommendations, so I’m sorry we can’t help with that, but as you can see, members of the ENZ forum will do this if you would like to ask there.

      Also worth considering is the comment made on this page by Alina, if you scroll up a little to November 27.

  18. Good day, I am a 56 year old South African lady. I have been granted a 2 year visitors visa, I have had a relapse on my Ovarian Cancer, do I qualify for public health funding? Both my daughters live in NZ and are residents of NZ. Could you please give me advice on how this should be handled financially if I do not qualify for public health funding.

    Kind regards

    1. Hi Mary, I’m very sorry to hear about your condition.

      From the information you’ve given, I can’t find a match with any of the eligibility criteria for publicly funded healthcare. These are listed in this checklist:

      The effect of the Immigration Act (2009) on eligibility is outlined here:

      Providing more detail, this document is the current Health and Disability Services Eligibility Direction from the Minister of Health to New Zealand’s District Health Boards, giving them direction on who can receive publicly funded healthcare.

      Is there any way using information that you didn’t write above that you could fit yourself into one of the eligible groups?

      In your place, I would ask my GP or the specialist who diagnosed me how to proceed most efficiently, and I’d do it today.

      I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful than this. I’m going to ask our forum members if any of them can offer information that could help you. I hope someone can.

  19. Hi,
    My husband and I are US Citizens in NZ on a work visa for about 6 months. We are both young and healthy but we wanted to find out if we should purchase health insurance during our time in NZ. We are primarily worried about developing a condition during our time here that would not be covered once we go back to the US. ie if we developed cancer or other serious condition while in NZ. When we go back to the US, we are concerned that this would not be covered as it would have developed during an “uninsured” time period thus it would be the dreaded “pre-existing” condition. Essentially, we are afraid of having a lapse of insurance coverage making it harder to get coverage in the US in the future (assuming the laws don’t change in favor of removing pre-existing conditions). As this as a concern, should be get additional medical coverage above the ACC and what type of medical coverage should we try to get? Any other advice?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Alina, since your stay is only temporary, perhaps you could contact your US insurers and explain that you will be out of the country for 6 months. They may be able to offer you insurance for the time you are in New Zealand, allowing you to maintain continuity with your current insurers. Also, there is a discussion here, which may be of interest:

  20. I plan to venture into a business in New Zealand under the Long Term Business Visa with my husband and two children aged 15 and 16. Would we be eligible for publicly funded health care? Thank you

    1. Hi Gina,

      When your Long Term Business application is first approved, you will initially be given a nine month work visa, enabling you to buy or establish your business in New Zealand. With this nine month visa you will not qualify for publically funded health care.

      As soon as you have taken steps to establish your business, you can apply for a further work visa for the balance of three years. Once you have this further work visa you will qualify for publicly funded health care.

  21. Hey,

    Me and my girlfriend are temporarily moving to New Zealand on 12 month working visa’ and we were wondering what cover we would be elibigle for?I am from Scotland and my partner is from Northern Ireland although she only has an Irish passport she is eligible for a British passport.Thank you in advance.


    1. Hi Gary,
      The rules are:
      UK passport holders are eligible for treatment (medical, hospital and related) on the same basis as a New Zealand citizen if they:
      • are ordinarily resident in the UK (including England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, AND
      • are on a temporary stay in New Zealand AND
      • require medical treatment which:
      o in the opinion of a medical practitioner (or dentist for people 19 years or younger)
      o needs prompt attention
      o for a condition that arose after arrival into New Zealand, OR became, OR without treatment would have become, acutely exacerbated after arrival.

      You would need to show your health service provider:
      • your valid UK Passport with a Work Visa for less than two years AND
      • proof of being ordinarily resident in the UK (eg. return ticket, property lease or ownership papers, proof of employment in the UK)


  22. Hello,

    My husband and I are currently living in NZ. He is a UK citizen and has a 4 year work visa. I am a US citizen and have a 4 year student visa (PhD).

    I understand that he is entitled to publicly funded care under the two year rule. I’ve also been able to determine that as his spouse, I’m eligible for maternity care. However, I am finding contradictory information about whether or not I also have access to general publicly funded care (beyond maternity) as his partner.

    Can you clarify?

    Many thanks.

    1. Hi Heather,

      Your child will be eligible for publicly funded health care during your stay in New Zealand, because his/her father is a work visa holder.

      Except for maternity services, partners of people eligible for publicly funded health services must themselves meet the eligibility criteria.

      Here is a checklist to determine if you are eligible.

  23. Hi

    My family and I are moving to NZ in Jan 2013 and we are looking for info in medical insurance. There are 5 of us. myself – 42 – non-smoker, my husband 43 – non-smoker, our son age 14, our daughter age 12 and our other daughter age 5.

    we would like to find out about the various cover levels and costs for it – also dental insurance if you do it.

    Many Thanks
    Marney Gardner

    1. Hi Marney, I’m sorry, but we don’t do insurance. Regarding the different options and plans for medical insurance that people have in New Zealand, our forum would be the best place to get recommendations on insurers and plans.

  24. My Partner is moving from Canada to New Zealand on a working visa for a year, does she get the same health care as i do, i’m a New Zealand citizen ?


    1. Hi Ashlee,

      A one year working visa holder has no entitlement to publicly funded health care.

      To qualify for publicly funded health care you would need a work or residence visa that allows you to remain in New Zealand for two years or more.

      It may be a good idea for her to invest in comprehensive travel insurance, including health insurance.

  25. I am a UK resident, and have just arrived in New Zealand to start work. I have a three year work visa. How am I covered for healthcare while I am in NZ. Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Joanne,

      As you have a work visa for two or more years you will be eligible for publicly funded health and disability services.

      For example you can enrol with a doctor at a Primary Health Organisation (PHO) and benefit from higher subsidies. To join a PHO, ask the doctor or medical centre that you have chosen whether they are aligned to a PHO. If they are, they will ask you to complete an enrolment form.

      You will also get subsidised prescriptions and will receive free inpatient and outpatient treatment, X-rays, and laboratory tests at public hospitals.

  26. My husband and I are United States of America residents, both retired and live in Hawaii. I have been looking at NZ as a place to live. We both have Medicare. I am not concerned about our monthly checks. But, I would like to know if our federal medical coverage be accepted in NZ? Can we also bring two of our pets? Hope to hear from you soon.

    Thank you, Gail Dukes

    1. Hi Gail,

      You can find the eligibility rules for publicly funded health care here:

      If you do not qualify then the NZ Government strongly recommends that people take out comprehensive medical insurance. Federal medical coverage would not be accepted in New Zealand.

      Information about bringing pets to New Zealand can be found here:

  27. My self and my wife were granted New Zealand Residence under Family-Parents category. We are moving to Auckland with in one months time. Are we eligible for subsidized medicine and consultation. Please inform whether any registration to be done after our arrival in Auckland. I am aged 63 years and my wife 56 years. Thank you.

    1. A New Zealand resident who has:
      • a resident visa, or
      • a permanent resident visa,
      is eligible for publicly funded health and disability services.

      Once you have arrived in New Zealand you can complete an enrolment form to join a Doctors’ Surgery / Medical Centre / Primary Health Organisation (PHO).

      The government provides higher subsidies for people who have enrolled with a PHO. To be eligible to be enrolled in a PHO you must be eligible for publicly funded services, be living in New Zealand permanently, or intending to live in New Zealand for at least the next two years.

      Doctors can set their own fees, so the standard consultation fee can vary. If you are eligible for publicly funded health and disability services and have joined a Primary Health Organisation, you will pay a lower consultation fee than if you are not enrolled with a PHO.

      To join a PHO, ask the doctor or medical centre that you have chosen whether they are aligned to a PHO. If they are, they will ask you to complete an enrolment form.

  28. Hello,

    Im in the process of emigrating to New Zealand. Im extremely worried it wont happen as i am a diabetic type 1. I was wondering what i would have to do to get an equilvalent to the english prescription card over there, so once i have landed i know i will have insulin waiting for me ? i cant expect to get free insulin as soon as im there so im expecting to pay which is understandable, but if you could point me in the right direction that would be such a great help. Thanks in advance


    1. Hi Sam,

      The following information is available on Diabetes New Zealand:

      ‘Medications cost the same amount throughout New Zealand. If you are a resident in New Zealand and on a low income, you will pay $3.00 for each prescription item for a three-month supply. For example if you are taking two different types of insulin, you will pay $6.00 for a three-month supply of your insulin. Other New Zealand residents (on a middle or high income) pay $15.00 for each prescription item for a three-month supply. The charge for a non-resident (unless for an emergency supply and coming from a reciprocal country ie Australia, UK, etc) will be NSS, or Not Subsidised and the full cost of the medicine will apply.’

      Diabetes Info

      People in a similar position may be members of our forum.

  29. hi my son is moving to new Zealand from Scotland on a 12 month work visa what health care will he receive or will he need to get travel insurance or maybe pay for his health care?

    1. Hi Lizz,

      If your son is a UK citizen then he is entitled to NZ public funded healthcare as per the following:

      Under a reciprocal agreement, a United Kingdom (UK) citizen (passport holder) is eligible for treatment (medical, hospital and related) on the same basis as a New Zealand citizen if they:
      • are ordinarily resident in the AND
      • are on a temporary stay in New Zealand (a temporary stay would be any stay that was not permanent, and to become permanent they would need to have a residence visa or NZ citizenship) AND
      • require medical treatment which:
      • in the opinion of a medical practitioner (or dentist for people 19 years or younger)
      • needs prompt attention
      • for a condition that arose after arrival into New Zealand, OR became, OR without treatment would have become, acutely exacerbated after arrival.

      Full details are on this Ministry of Health page.

  30. Hi, if i’m still holding a resident visa (have not yet satisfy the 2-years requirement of becoming a PERMANENT resident), will i still be eligible for free public healthcare? Thanks in advance. 🙂

    1. Hi Alexis,

      Assuming you have a work visa, you will be entitled to publicly funded health and disability services if you hold a work visa that either:

      entitles you to remain in New Zealand for two years or more (work visas start on the person’s first day in New Zealand) OR

      entitles you to remain in New Zealand for a period of time which, together with the time that person has already been lawfully in New Zealand immediately prior to obtaining the visa, equals or exceeds two years

      This is quoted from the Ministry of Health entitlement page.

  31. Wonder if you can help me? Me and my husband have had our application in to move to NZ to be with our family, for 12 months now. We are excited about the prospect. I have a big worry though. I have Crohn’s disease and have a j. pouch from UC surgery 1988. I am on a drug called Azathioprine and have been very well for a couple of years now. i have 6 monthly check-ups from my consultant. She will support me 100%. i am sure I read somewhere that NZ do not like my drug as it is an imuno-modulator. Is this correct? My consultant says that as I have been so well on this it is better to have me well and not needing hospital treatment than not well and needing help. What is the stance on this please. will this have a big negative effect on my applicaton. I am so worried that I may prevent our moving there to be with our family. Please reply, i am so worried about this. thank you for taking the time.

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