Doctors & Hospitals Guide for Expats
The quality of doctors and hospitals is very good in the Auckland area. There are a variety of good public and private hospitals and clinics as well.
The main problem is the lack of numbers, especially when it comes to certain specialists, which can result in waiting lists for surgeries to address certain conditions. This is especially applicable for elective, non life-threatening procedures. You can find more information about this at http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/hospitals-and-specialist-care/elective-services. Even some popular general practitioners are reluctant to add new patients, as they already have a large patient list.
Affordable private insurance helps you bypass many of these waiting lists, allowing you access to private hospitals and knowledgeable physicians.
All GPs in New Zealand are private practitioners and charge around $40 to $50 per visit. Appointments for children under 6 are supposed to be totally subsidized by government health care, but some GP’s are also putting a small surcharge on those patients as well.
Generally, doctors practice within private medical clinics, but most also have connections to hospitals and emergency clinics, which will refer patients for further care to their list of caregivers. Some doctors will make house calls, but charge extra for the service. You’ll need to check with individual doctors to see if they offer this service, as there is no organized network.
If you need to access medical advice (not emergency care) outside of normal surgery hours, Healthline is a free service offered to all people living in New Zealand. http://www.moh.govt.nz/healthline. Healthline is staffed by Registered Nurses and is available 24/7. The freephone contact number is: 0800 611 116.