New Zealand proudly boasts a clean green image and compared to other developed
world countries we are seen as a great place that provides fresh
unpolluted air, low cases of disease, easy access to fresh
organic produce and clean drinking water.
Emergency telephone numbers are listed in the front pages of all
local telephone directories and also displayed in public
telephone booths throughout New Zealand. If you require the
police, fire or ambulance services in an emergency you should
DOCTORS - Your General Practitioner (GP) is usually the first person you
should contact if you require medical advice or diagnosis. (For
all serious injuries and complaints you should go to a public
hospital directly). GPs operate private businesses and so are
able to set their own fees for consultations and other services.
However, the Government provides a subsidy to reduce the cost of
GP visits and prescriptions. The GP or the pharmacist claims
subsidies from the Government so the effect for the patient is a
You can select your own GP (Doctor) however it is usually more
practical to select a practice/surgery that is local to you. If
you choose to change your GP you should ensure that your medical
notes or file is transferred to your new GP. To find a suitable
GP look in the special medical section in the front of your local
telephone book for a list of GPs and contact details.
PHARMACISTS - Pharmacists generally work in pharmacies (also known as Chemists)
and can be found in suburban areas, shopping malls or near
Pharmacists are able to offer advice on the safety and use of
medicines along with general information on some common health
problems. They dispense medicines that have been prescribed by
your GP as well as being able to sell over the
counter medicines that do not require a doctor's
PUBLIC HOSPITALS - New Zealanders have an extensive health service available to them
with approximately 445 hospitals in New Zealand. Approximately 85
of these hospitals are publicly funded and run by organizations
called District Health Boards (DHBs).
The majority of essential health care services are provided free
through the public health system (excluding dentistry and
optometry) however most hospital doctors (specialists) can only
been seen after referral from your local GP. If you are referred
to a specialist or hospital you can choose to go publicly or
PRIVATE HOSPITALS - There are a large number of private hospitals in New Zealand, if
you choose to use a private hospital you will be required to pay
for the services of the hospital, for example private specialists
and consultants. The benefits of private hospital treatment are
the lack of waiting lists and more personalized care
due to a smaller number of patients requiring attention and care
compared to a public hospital. Many waiting lists for surgery
through the public hospital system are long while private
hospitals can provide quicker consultation and surgery options on
a user pays basis which reduces waiting lists for
FAMILY PLANNING CLINICS - Family Planning Clinics are situated throughout New Zealand and
provide sexual health, contraception and fertility health care.
The cost of a consultation is similar your local GPs fee.
WOMENS HEALTH - New Zealand women have access to a large selection of women
orientated services and programmes available throughout the
New Zealand pregnancy and childbirth related care is free (except
for care provided by private obstetricians). This care covers the
diagnosis of pregnancy, antenatal care, childbirth and postnatal
BreastScreen Aotearoa is the national breast cancer-screening
programme which is aimed at promoting and educating on breast
cancer and screening. This programme is designed to identify and
contact women who are eligible for free breast cancer screening
plus follow up support.
The National Cervical Screening Programme is aimed at reducing
the number of women in New Zealand who develop cervical cancer
and the number who die from it. Enrollment is free and available
by contacting your local GP. Once enrolled you will receive
results of your cervical smears taken within the programme along
with a reminder when you are due for your next Cervical Smear.
CHILDREN'S HEALTH - Government subsidies for GP visits for all children aged under
six years is $35.00, which means that most visits for children
under six years is free. Public health nurses also visit primary
schools regularly to check children while most schools have a
resident dental nurse. These services are free through the
government education/health system.
The Ministry of Health (Government) fully supports immunization,
which is why it is a free service. Immunization protects against
measles, mumps, rubella, polio, whooping cough, diphtheria,
tetanus, Haemophilus influenza (Hib) and Hepatitis B.
Plunket New Zealand is the major provider of child and family
health services in New Zealand. The Plunket programmes aim to
support families with young children and are the only non-profit
organization to provide these facilities to New Zealand families.
ACCIDENT COMPENSATION - Treatment by a registered health professional for accident
related injuries is subsidized by the Accident Compensation
Corporation (ACC) of New Zealand, however user part-charges for
GP visits or other recommended treatments (such as
physiotherapists) resulting from the accident should be expected.
ACC cover is automatic, you do not have to join or register for