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-   -   Health care (https://britishexpats.com/forum/new-zealand-83/health-care-920413/)

MummyQB Dec 24th 2018 10:30 am

Health care
 
Hello, we've just decoded to move and DaddyQB is applying for jobs in Wellington. How does health care work? Is there an NHS, private only or employer schemes? Thank you.

janiejones Dec 25th 2018 10:11 am

Re: Health care
 
There is subsidised health, but not as much is covered as is by the NHS. It does depend on the District Health Board, mine (Hutt Valley) is pretty good, but more rural ones, not so much. Some employers offer Southern Cross, which is like Bupa, I get this through work, and it refunds 80% of my health costs. Some employers offer preferential rates with Southern Cross, but don't pay for membership.

MrsFychan Dec 25th 2018 7:58 pm

Re: Health care
 
I miss NHS - could tell you of all the mishaps and a few wins but those types of things may never happen to you. You pay for GP appts, ours is $52.00 per visit - really does mean you, as in my case, do not go as often as you may need or would of done in the UK. My work does not offer health care, MrF's does but its not that great and only covers him and that he had to negotiate with the Company during the offer stage. Kids can go free to GP up til the age of 13 at the moment. My local area has a centre for Youth Services and this also provides GP's up til the early 20's if I remember correctly.

jayandbill Nov 1st 2019 5:07 am

Re: Health care
 

Originally Posted by MrsFychan (Post 12612834)
I miss NHS - could tell you of all the mishaps and a few wins but those types of things may never happen to you. You pay for GP appts, ours is $52.00 per visit - really does mean you, as in my case, do not go as often as you may need or would of done in the UK. My work does not offer health care, MrF's does but its not that great and only covers him and that he had to negotiate with the Company during the offer stage. Kids can go free to GP up til the age of 13 at the moment. My local area has a centre for Youth Services and this also provides GP's up til the early 20's if I remember correctly.

I am very confused about the healthcare system in NZ. We've been here 10 years and don't currently have insurance. We had when we first came here and the monthly fee was $270, the following year it rose to $360, pre existing conditions excluded. I've no idea what it would cost now but I'm guessing nearer to $1000 per month. I rarely see the GP but if I do the cost is $45.5 per visit. 3 years ago I was referred to the Eye Clinic by my GP and I had a cataract operation at no cost to me, probably because I have only one good eye. However a Kiwi friend in his 70s has just had to pay $4000 for his cataract operation.
4 years ago my husband had an accident in the home requiring an ambulance and some ongoing aftercare at home - no charge. Recently, as a result of new medication he fainted in a public place and was taken to hospital, where he was thoroughly tested for a possible underlying cause for the faint. There was no charge for that but a charge of $100 for the ambulance.
I'm afraid of possible future costs should either of us have serious health issues. Health insurance will probably not cover any pre existing conditions and probably wouldn't kick in for a year or two.
I'm very confused and although the NZ Immigration website claims that health care is free or low cost, it obviously isn't and potential immigrants need to understand that.

Justcol Nov 1st 2019 8:04 am

Re: Health care
 

Originally Posted by jayandbill (Post 12757472)
I am very confused about the healthcare system in NZ. We've been here 10 years and don't currently have insurance. We had when we first came here and the monthly fee was $270, the following year it rose to $360, pre existing conditions excluded. I've no idea what it would cost now but I'm guessing nearer to $1000 per month. I rarely see the GP but if I do the cost is $45.5 per visit. 3 years ago I was referred to the Eye Clinic by my GP and I had a cataract operation at no cost to me, probably because I have only one good eye. However a Kiwi friend in his 70s has just had to pay $4000 for his cataract operation.
4 years ago my husband had an accident in the home requiring an ambulance and some ongoing aftercare at home - no charge. Recently, as a result of new medication he fainted in a public place and was taken to hospital, where he was thoroughly tested for a possible underlying cause for the faint. There was no charge for that but a charge of $100 for the ambulance.
I'm afraid of possible future costs should either of us have serious health issues. Health insurance will probably not cover any pre existing conditions and probably wouldn't kick in for a year or two.
I'm very confused and although the NZ Immigration website claims that health care is free or low cost, it obviously isn't and potential immigrants need to understand that.

I don't understand what the problem is. If you become Ill you will be treated free of charge. There is a small fee for going to the doctor which isn't going to financially cripple anyone. There may be a small charge for an ambulance, just like in the UK. If you are ill and want to jump a queue you can pay, just like in the UK or pay insurance and go private, just like the UK. What's the problem ??

MrsFychan Nov 1st 2019 10:32 pm

Re: Health care
 

Originally Posted by jayandbill (Post 12757472)
I am very confused about the healthcare system in NZ. We've been here 10 years and don't currently have insurance. We had when we first came here and the monthly fee was $270, the following year it rose to $360, pre existing conditions excluded. I've no idea what it would cost now but I'm guessing nearer to $1000 per month. I rarely see the GP but if I do the cost is $45.5 per visit. 3 years ago I was referred to the Eye Clinic by my GP and I had a cataract operation at no cost to me, probably because I have only one good eye. However a Kiwi friend in his 70s has just had to pay $4000 for his cataract operation.
4 years ago my husband had an accident in the home requiring an ambulance and some ongoing aftercare at home - no charge. Recently, as a result of new medication he fainted in a public place and was taken to hospital, where he was thoroughly tested for a possible underlying cause for the faint. There was no charge for that but a charge of $100 for the ambulance.
I'm afraid of possible future costs should either of us have serious health issues. Health insurance will probably not cover any pre existing conditions and probably wouldn't kick in for a year or two.
I'm very confused and although the NZ Immigration website claims that health care is free or low cost, it obviously isn't and potential immigrants need to understand that.


yeh me to, to be honest I think the costs depends on the GP, I am just getting over a really bad chest infection that saw me in the hospital. Initial visit cost me $55.00 but because his assessment was to do nothing had to return a week later because it was far worse, he then prescribed drugs, again another $55 fee, long story short ended up in hospital. They did try to give my husband a bill on the 3rd visit, which was when I ended up going to hospital and he told them we wont be paying and threw it away. Yet my husband went to the same surgery with a different Dr and the the 2nd appt was at a reduced fee.
Same surgery refused to send my daughter to a consultant as their opinion was she was to young to be needing a check for what we thought the issue could be, we changed her to a different surgery and she was immediately referred, seen within a month and then had an op a month later, with the Consultant saying it was one of the worse case she had seen for some years.

I do find that I am more reluctant to go to the GP here, which is why I think my health has suffered, but we are extremely restricted as to where we can register and I have no faith with most of the GPs at the current surgery. MrF will only see one particular GP there and I think I shall also be going down that route, which means waiting times will be longer.
They have now also introduced a phone triage if you need an urgent appt, you call, you then have to speak to a nurse and if they can't help they then have to speaks to a GP, the nurse then calls you back with either saying you need an appt and puts you back to reception to make one or gives you advise over the phone - this can take many hours - madness

Pom_Chch Nov 2nd 2019 1:41 am

Re: Health care
 
I personally don't find it too difficult to get my head around. There are some differences and similarities between UK and NZ systems but nothing too major to get your head around.

If you book a doctors appointment, you pay between $30-50 per visit. Prescriptions are a small fee on top unless the drug you want isn't funded then you may have to pay more.
​​​​​​
If you fall ill with cancer or another big long term illness and require hospital treatment, you pay nothing. If you want treatment or operations done privately, then you pay or if you have private medical insurance then you go through that. Private care gets you seen to quicker and essentially by-passes the public system. My aunt has just had a procedure done here. She could have had in through the public system for free but with a 4 week wait. She went private and had it done within 1 week at a personal cost to her.

Ambulance you pay a small fee as they are not publicly funded, they are usually run by a charity (e.g. St John).

I can't think of anything else of difference at the moment apart from dentists are not publicly funded, you have to go private and it is expensive. Hope and pray your kids don't need braces!


Bo-Jangles Nov 2nd 2019 1:59 am

Re: Health care
 

Originally Posted by jayandbill (Post 12757472)
I'm very confused and although the NZ Immigration website claims that health care is free or low cost, it obviously isn't and potential immigrants need to understand that.

It is confusing because there are two very different funding paths between accidents and other medical illnesses; in the first instance your husband had an accident so his trip to the hospital would be covered by ACC. Ongoing costs for treatment / therapy following an accident for a finite number of visits by ACC - this can be quite expensive as you will be paying private sector prices, albeit partly subsidised by ACC .

In the second instance he would have been treated under the the regular health system and hence the charge for ambulance.

jayandbill Nov 3rd 2019 3:50 am

Re: Health care
 
Are you saying that treatment for a chronic illness is completely free of charge. I understand that treatment after an accident is free but if I'm unfortunate enough to develop cancer and need chemotherapy or surgery will that be free. When I read of cancer patients being denied certain drugs because they're not funded and they cannot themselves afford the thousands of dollars needed for treatment, I have to doubt it. Perhaps someone with experience of such a case can reassure me.
I have friends in the UK who have needed long term cancer treatment and it hasn't cost them a penny.
You also state that there's a charge for an ambulance call out in UK. I think you'll find that is not the case.
You asked what the problem is. For me health care isn't currently a problem but potential immigrants need to know that it isn't like the NHS where all treatment is free including prescriptions for the over 65's and children. Prescription charges are slightly higher in UK than NZ for those who have to pay. If families come to NZ with teenagers the cost of healthcare could come as a shock. I'm simply saying they need to know.

Justcol Nov 3rd 2019 5:13 am

Re: Health care
 
You are panicking over nothing.
NZ healthcare is FREE.

I read that Donald Trump isn't a racist, it doesn't make it true

You are trying to point out what isn't available in NZ without bothering to check facts or figures, and seem to have forgotten the many court cases that hit the news in the UK for people being denied access to drugs and treatments due to costs or waiting lists. Did you know NZ has a higher survival rate for major cancers than the UK, No, I thought not.....

​​​​​I would not let the possibility that I may, or may not, develop a form of cancer at some unknown point in the future be a consideration for a potential move to another country, it's ridiculous, and if you do,I would suggest migrating isn't for you, there are simply far too many what if's for comfort

jayandbill Nov 4th 2019 3:12 am

Re: Health care
 
Thank you for your reply. From reading other comments it seems I'm not the only one who finds the system unclear and would like to see it written in black and white in a document. It seems that it depends on where you live and who your GP is . The point I've tried to make is that the NZ Immigration website claims it's free or low cost, which is misleading for anyone thinking of moving here under the impression that it's similar to the NHS.

Pom_Chch Nov 4th 2019 3:56 am

Re: Health care
 
I think what they mean by low cost is that it's not like America where you must have health/medical insurance and there is no public system.

I've known two people with cancer. Apart from doctors appointments, all treatment has been of no extra cost (apart from the previously mentioned operation that was done privately out of choice). The meds, the specialist appointments and other treatment hasn't cost them a penny. I'm guessing some forms of treatment aren't funded but that's the same in the UK.

jayandbill Nov 4th 2019 4:31 am

Re: Health care
 

Originally Posted by Pom_Chch (Post 12758596)
I think what they mean by low cost is that it's not like America where you must have health/medical insurance and there is no public system.

I've known two people with cancer. Apart from doctors appointments, all treatment has been of no extra cost (apart from the previously mentioned operation that was done privately out of choice). The meds, the specialist appointments and other treatment hasn't cost them a penny. I'm guessing some forms of treatment aren't funded but that's the same in the UK.

Thanks for clarifying that. I understand that there might be times when some treatments are not covered but it's reassuring to know that generally treatment is provided free. Hopefully I'll never need it!

cyndi Nov 5th 2019 12:49 am

Re: Health care
 
I'm usually just a lurker, but felt that I must reply to this thread. Firstly we have been here almost 14 years after living in the States for the previous 16 years. We have absolutely no complaints whatsoever about the healthcare here. My husband was diagnosed 6 years ago with Follicular Lymphoma, this is an indolent (slow growing cancer, incurable, but not a killer ) he had a lump in his groin which he went to see our GP about. Gp sent him up to Christchuch where he had a fine needle aspiration which confirmed the disease then a biopsy which incuded a bone marrow biopsy too. The normal with this type of Lymphoma is to be put on "watch and wait" but we would go up & see his oncologist every 3 months at Christchurch hospital. Nothing changed in all that time until 8 months ago when a lymph node was pressing on his kidney & his consultant told us it was time for some treatment. So he had 6 months of Chemo done here in Ashburton hospital, finished it 2 months ago & after a CT scan when to see the consultant again for results. Every lymph node has shrunk considerably and we were told that he wouldn't need any treatment again for years & years. He will still have 3 monthly appts up in Christchurch.The only cost to us has been $38 for his initial GP visit and the cost of petrol.

As for me, well couldn't let hubby be better than me!!!!!!!! Last Dec. I went to the Drs with a UTI, it cleared up after the antibiotics she gave me, but I never felt any different was still having to go every 5 mins so I went back to see her. She wondered if I could possibly have a kidney stone so sent me for a CT scan. That showed a thickening of the rectal wall so I got sent for a colonoscopy. After they biopsied a growth it came back as Bowel Cancer. The surgeon said I would need an op to resection my bowel have an illeostomy for a while then have it reversed at a later date. I had 5 rounds of Radiotheray & 4 months of Chemo. I've had CT scans, Colonograms MRI and other stuff done. Because my Chemo consisted of an intravenous on day1 of every round & chemo pills (8 per day for 21 days each round) the oncologist wrote me a prescription every month for the pills. Because I got them through our local pharmacy I got a $5 prescription charge each time. One thing we did was to look up the price of the pills in the States & they would have cost $48 dollars a pill. So I paid $20 for my Chemo & $38 Gp fee. Tomorrow I go in to St Georges hospital which is a private hospital for the reversal surgery. Because of the Christchurch shooting which I know was in March all non urgent surgeries (me for which I am so thankful to be) got put on hold. For some reason I got put into the "private bag" by the surgeon so will be in a private hospital at no charge whatsoever to me.We really can't fault any of the care we've had & the medical teams who have surrounded us have been wonderful. We just know where we'd rather be when it came down to being sick & it honest to god wasn't the States

jayandbill Nov 5th 2019 3:39 am

Re: Health care
 

Originally Posted by cyndi (Post 12758984)
I'm usually just a lurker, but felt that I must reply to this thread. Firstly we have been here almost 14 years after living in the States for the previous 16 years. We have absolutely no complaints whatsoever about the healthcare here. My husband was diagnosed 6 years ago with Follicular Lymphoma, this is an indolent (slow growing cancer, incurable, but not a killer ) he had a lump in his groin which he went to see our GP about. Gp sent him up to Christchuch where he had a fine needle aspiration which confirmed the disease then a biopsy which incuded a bone marrow biopsy too. The normal with this type of Lymphoma is to be put on "watch and wait" but we would go up & see his oncologist every 3 months at Christchurch hospital. Nothing changed in all that time until 8 months ago when a lymph node was pressing on his kidney & his consultant told us it was time for some treatment. So he had 6 months of Chemo done here in Ashburton hospital, finished it 2 months ago & after a CT scan when to see the consultant again for results. Every lymph node has shrunk considerably and we were told that he wouldn't need any treatment again for years & years. He will still have 3 monthly appts up in Christchurch.The only cost to us has been $38 for his initial GP visit and the cost of petrol.

As for me, well couldn't let hubby be better than me!!!!!!!! Last Dec. I went to the Drs with a UTI, it cleared up after the antibiotics she gave me, but I never felt any different was still having to go every 5 mins so I went back to see her. She wondered if I could possibly have a kidney stone so sent me for a CT scan. That showed a thickening of the rectal wall so I got sent for a colonoscopy. After they biopsied a growth it came back as Bowel Cancer. The surgeon said I would need an op to resection my bowel have an illeostomy for a while then have it reversed at a later date. I had 5 rounds of Radiotheray & 4 months of Chemo. I've had CT scans, Colonograms MRI and other stuff done. Because my Chemo consisted of an intravenous on day1 of every round & chemo pills (8 per day for 21 days each round) the oncologist wrote me a prescription every month for the pills. Because I got them through our local pharmacy I got a $5 prescription charge each time. One thing we did was to look up the price of the pills in the States & they would have cost $48 dollars a pill. So I paid $20 for my Chemo & $38 Gp fee. Tomorrow I go in to St Georges hospital which is a private hospital for the reversal surgery. Because of the Christchurch shooting which I know was in March all non urgent surgeries (me for which I am so thankful to be) got put on hold. For some reason I got put into the "private bag" by the surgeon so will be in a private hospital at no charge whatsoever to me.We really can't fault any of the care we've had & the medical teams who have surrounded us have been wonderful. We just know where we'd rather be when it came down to being sick & it honest to god wasn't the States

Thank you for your reassuring account of your personal journey through the NZ health care system. It seems I've been unnecessarily concerned . I suppose it might be different in some parts of the country but that would also be the case in UK where it's described as the Post code Lottery. I'm glad things are working out well for you and your husband and wish you a healthy future


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