Based on a 2014 survey conducted by U.S.-based The Commonwealth Fund, New Zealand’s healthcare system is the second most effective out of 11 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The same study showed that New Zealand also finished second best in terms of health coordination.
New Zealand Now shares that the country’s comprehensive health system follows the innate desire for Kiwis to have “a fair go” in life. Here are some of the factors that make the New Zealand healthcare system one of the best in the world.
1. Free and/subsidized health care services
The government has funds for both health and disability services. This means the eligible individuals can receive free services in public hospitals, including both inpatient and outpatient care. The government can also subsidize prescription medicine and other medical devices including hospital supplies in New Zealand, such as the products offered by Hallmark Surgical, for eligible individuals in the community.
The free healthcare services also apply to migrants and these include children’s immunizations, prescription medicine for patients in public hospitals, pregnancy and childbirth healthcare, breast cancer screening for women from age 50 to 64.
2. Assistance for Low-Income Individuals
New Zealand residents who live on low income receive help from the government through the Community Services Card (CSC). This entitles them for a subsidization of visits to a general practitioner.
3. Free Dental Care for Children
Children can get free dental care up to 18 years of age. However, not all dental practitioners offer this benefit so it is always better to check first before visiting. While adults often need to pay for most dental procedures, the country’s accident compensation scheme or ACC can help shoulder the cost for accident-related dental procedures.
Compared to most countries, the healthcare benefits Kiwis, migrants and expats get in New Zealand go a long way. However, it is always best to inquire about the eligibility of these free services and not simply assume that the government can help cover the costs all the time. This will ensure that you are prepared for any expenses that you might incur along the way.