Comparing Healthcare Costs New Zealand

Comparing Healthcare Costs New Zealand
Deciding on preferences between public healthcare and the private sector in New Zealand will depend on the health problem itself, its urgency, the comparative cost and the disruption of diagnosis and treatment to work and lifestyle schedules. In general, for non-life threatening conditions, delays come as standard in the public sector, with immediate treatment available at a cost in the private sector.

For immediate emergencies such as severe accidental injury, heart attacks, strokes and other life-threatening events, the public sector hospitals cope well, although conditions on wards, aftercare and general services such as meals may not be up to the standards required by the operators of the many private hospitals. In the case of such emergencies, surgical care is similar in both sectors and may be even faster in the casualty departments of public facilities.

The choice between the two sectors becomes crucial when the medical problem affects the running of a newly-established business or when the patient is an important member of a commercial team with set deadlines attached to the work itself. Although many larger companies offer private health insurance covering such emergencies as part of the employment package, recently-arrived migrants setting up SMEs on their own will need to consider the risks involved in relying on public health provision.

Cost-wise, there are big differences, as citizens and those on permanent residential visas are able to use the public healthcare system for free except when visiting a doctor, for which a charge of around NZ$60 is made. For all other newly-arrived migrants, accidental injury is covered but developing medical problems are not. If the medical emergency is serious, those running newly-established franchises, start-up businesses or established businesses recently purchased need to calculate the temporary loss to the business of their services and set it against the long-term cost of private health insurance. The same applies to those still looking for work or in temporary jobs.

Basically, if it's a true, life-threatening emergency and you have the required residential qualifications, then public healthcare offers an immediate solution, although perhaps not in the most comfortable environment. For most other migrants, a careful look at the available healthcare insurances in order to decide on essential inclusions is the way to peace of mind in your new country.