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An Introduction to Healthcare in New Zealand

Healthcare may be a problem around the world, but nations like New Zealand can still offer a number of significant advantages to their permanent residents. While the country's healthcare services also has its issues, New Zealanders can easily get medicines, medical help and attention.

The government subsidizes a lot of the cost of medical expenses. In New Zealand, part of the taxes paid by employees, and ACC levies paid by employers cover the people’s healthcare services. Hence, treatment is either free or subsidised by the government.

A lot of New Zealanders are careful about their health because they want not only to feel good but also to look good. Although medical help is readily available, nothing beats healthy diet and active lifestyle. New Zealanders make great efforts in conserving and preserving their natural environment and tend to advocate all-natural diets. They believe that living in harmony with nature has some remarkable health benefits. Having plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy products which are in abundance in the country are preferred than processed food.

For a price, New Zealand food companies are willing to share their knowledge in processing and preserving food and food products with other countries. This is how New Zealand food products have become famous. New Zealand dairy products, like milk and cheese are known to be one of the best in the world.

No matter how hard one tries to keep his or her body at peak performance, one will still need medical help. Government healthcare is not the only alternative as private healthcare is, of course, also available to those who can afford it. But the cost of treatment is significantly less with general practitioners (GPs) who are part of Primary Health Organization (PHO), an organization that aims to provide affordable quality healthcare to the public. Such GPs are nearly everywhere, but are less available in remote rural areas and indigenous communities. If you are over 65 or under 25 years old, you benefit more from GP assistance because the cost of prescriptions may cost as little as $3; and soon this low fee is expected to be available to all..

The following are few of the free medical services offered by public hospitals or health centres to New Zealanders:

1. Hospital treatment and emergency surgical procedures. Cosmetic surgery, however, is an exception.

2. Immunizations, check-ups, dental treatment and prescriptions for children under the age of six

3. Most x-rays and laboratory tests,

4. 21st prescription and after (for patients who need more than 20 prescriptions a year),

5. Breast-screening for women aged from 50 to 64,

6. Pregnancy, and childbirth procedures, from diagnosis to post-natal care. hospital care and accommodation for expectant mothers.

On the other hand, the following may only be partly subsidized by the government:

1. Prescription medicines and medical equipment

2. Ambulance services

3. Consultation with GPs

4. Consultation with relief providers if referred by a GP, such as a chiropractors, physiotherapists, osteopaths, etc.

If you are not a New Zealand citizen, a spouse of a New Zealander, or a work-permit holder, you will have to pay for the treatment you receive. Emergency treatment is available to one who does not have the above entitlement, but must expect to pay the cost. Even a non-resident may get treatment from the nearest emergency health centre.

Acquiring medicines is not a problem. Over-the-counter or OTC medicines are much more widely available in New Zealand than in other parts of the world. Many drugs not easily dispensed over the counter in other countries may be bought from New Zealand pharmacies, through online shopping and e-trading. However, pharmacies are required to sell certain OTC drugs only to New Zealand residents. People all over the world prefer to shop for medicines at New Zealand online pharmacies at competitive prices. Note that some medicines are available only when prescribed by a medical practitioner.

In line with the appreciation of many New Zealand citizens for natural treatments and complementary therapies, private practitioners of herbal medicine and therapeutic services are highly sought after in the country. Remedial body therapists, osteopaths, homoeopaths and herbalists are just a few of the healthcare professionals accredited by the New Zealand Natural Health Practitioners Accreditation Board. They are easy to contact and in great demand.

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