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Thread: What is the healthcare system like?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Australia
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    Default What is the healthcare system like?

    In the UK you have the NHS in Australia there's Medicare, how does it work in New Zealand, does everyone have private insurance, if so who do you use, as I need to look into coverage on existing conditions. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Feb 2011
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    Lincoln, UK to Rotorua, NZ
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    There is a public healthcare system, each area has it's own District Health Board but visits to the GP need to be paid for. Some people will have insurance but most don't as far as I am aware.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2008
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    UK to USA to Waikato, NZ
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    I looked into the cost of insurance but it was not worth it unless you need an elective(non urgent) surgery but then you would be denied if it is a pre existing condition. The public system works well for emergencies and really well for accidents. ACC covers a lot for accidents and offers help at home, certain % of your salary and discounts on xrays etc. I work in the ED (a/e) and see a lot of people who cannot afford their GP visits and will come in for non urgent stuff because it is free. Some of them I believe but when they have a smart phone, ipod etc......
    Prescriptions are $5 each and free for kids under 6 for subsidised meds.(most meds).
    The disadvantage is that wait times(both ED and surgery waiting lists) can be long!

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2010
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    Auckland<->Penang
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    I got really sick (flu kind of sickness) a few weeks back and had a good education on the NZ Health system. Here is what i found out :

    1) Since it was my first visit to a GP, I have to do an enrolment. It is just some forms that you fill which will also scans thru all the other people in the household. They also do a search to ensure that i didn't previously have a NHS number.

    2) Consultation is by appointment. I was initially told to come back another day but i insisted i might be dead by then. Then i got a 30 minute block appointment on the same day a few hours later.

    3) First time enrolment is considered "Not Funded". Cost me NZD95 this time but subsequent visits will be NZD53 for my age group. Fees are tiered (ie. Ages 0-6: NZD16, Ages 6-17: NZD45, ...Over age 65: NZD46. This is for after enrolment). If I visit a different GP, i will have to re-enrol.

    4) I was also sent for blood tests (in a lab elsewhere). Tested for all kinds of stuff -- liver function, all kinds of bacteria, blood counts, etc. This is FREE. If i had needed X-Ray or any other tests, this will be free. I like this as this gives the GP the maximum diagnotics information to treat their patients (without worrying about the cost burden on their patients).

    5) Medication is NZD5 per type of medicine, irregardless of quantity.

    I noticed the GP took her time to diagnose. Lots of small talk, where i was from, how long, what i do, etc.. - possible to find out any other hidden causes. Of course along the way i also found out a little bit about the doctor (Iraqi lady - quite pretty too ).

    Something quite unusual for me. The GPs i have been seeing are often working on the volume basis - where i am usually done in 5 minutes.

    Fortunately i was well in a couple of days. But should i not be, and if the GP feels i should be refered to a hospital, then there would not be any consultation fees (but the NDZ5 per medication still applies).

    For now, i think i am ok with this and will not consider any medical insurance.

    Hope this is informative.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hagabel View Post
    I looked into the cost of insurance but it was not worth it unless you need an elective(non urgent) surgery but then you would be denied if it is a pre existing condition. The public system works well for emergencies and really well for accidents. ACC covers a lot for accidents and offers help at home, certain % of your salary and discounts on xrays etc. I work in the ED (a/e) and see a lot of people who cannot afford their GP visits and will come in for non urgent stuff because it is free. Some of them I believe but when they have a smart phone, ipod etc......
    Prescriptions are $5 each and free for kids under 6 for subsidised meds.(most meds).
    The disadvantage is that wait times(both ED and surgery waiting lists) can be long!

    Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Nelson, New Zealand
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    130

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    bulu, thanks for the information. Quite helpful for someone new.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Wellington, NZ
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    Most healthcare in NZ is public, about 85%. I wouldn't bother with private health insurance. You enroll with a Public Health Organisation (PHO) that provides funding to your GP. PHO funding comes from District Health Boards, who in turn get population-based funding from the Ministry of Health. There is typically a co-payment (amount paid by the patient), depending on which GP you are enrolled with, the co-payment can vary. I pay $10, as I am enrolled with a low-cost GP. If I wanted to go to a more expensive clinic, I'd probably pay $50 (I choose not to because I am happy with my current GP and don't see much point in paying more for no reason). Drugs are generally quite cheap (typical antibiotics are about $5), as many are generics and subsidised.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi.diaspora View Post
    Most healthcare in NZ is public, about 85%. I wouldn't bother with private health insurance. You enroll with a Public Health Organisation (PHO) that provides funding to your GP.
    Good summary. But it's actually Primary Health Organisations. Not just trying to be picky, but Public Health services are something different in this context, are organised differently and have different tasks.

    Daniela

  8. #8
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    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetalSoul View Post
    There is a public healthcare system, each area has it's own District Health Board but visits to the GP need to be paid for. Some people will have insurance but most don't as far as I am aware.
    I think it's about a third of the population (looked this up at some point ages ago before moving here).

    Daniela

  9. #9
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    Feb 2013
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    UK
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    Hi. The health service is at least as good as UK, paying for GP visits cuts out the time-wasters. However, we had a few issues when having private medical insurance made a huge difference. For example, I had to have surgery, the waiting list was about 18 months, I had my op in a private hospital 2 weeks later. We took out the type that includes cover for initial consultation with a specialist even if no subequent hospitalised care is required. It was the initial consultation with a specilist bit that was worth its weight in gold for us. We are old (then in our 50s) and we also covered our teeenage daughter. Policy was about $300 a month for all of us. I am sure it would be cheaper for younger folk. One of those thing that's an individual decision. Cheers. Karen

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    North Canterbury, New Zealand
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    The A&E at Chch hospital certainly rocks! I foolishly broke my arm in a log splitter and was into emergency, x-ray, consultation and plaster in about 90 mins. When I went back as an outpatient for x-ray, consultation and new cast I expected it to take hours but I was all done in 45 mins.

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