Healthcare Services in New Zealand – A Migrant’s Guide

Healthcare Services in New Zealand - A Migrant's Guide
Moving to a new country can be an exciting and challenging experience, especially when it comes to navigating the healthcare system. For migrants relocating to New Zealand, understanding the healthcare services and how they work is crucial.
In this guide, we will provide a comprehensive overview of healthcare services in New Zealand and offer valuable insights to help migrants access and make the most of the healthcare system.

Overview of the New Zealand Healthcare System:

New Zealand boasts a high-quality healthcare system that aims to provide accessible and affordable healthcare to all residents. The system operates under a public-private partnership, with the government funding a significant portion of the healthcare services. The Ministry of Health oversees the healthcare sector, while District Health Boards (DHBs) manage the provision of services within specific regions.

Primary Care and Enrolling with a General Practitioner (GP):

Enrolling with a GP is an essential step for migrants to access primary healthcare services in New Zealand. GPs provide a wide range of medical services, including consultations, prescriptions, referrals, and ongoing healthcare management. Enrolling with a GP ensures continuity of care and allows access to subsidized healthcare services.

Accessing Emergency and Urgent Care:

Knowing how to access emergency and urgent care services is crucial for migrants in case of unforeseen medical situations. In New Zealand, emergency care is provided by hospital emergency departments, while urgent care is available through various after-hours clinics.

Understanding Health Insurance Options:

While New Zealand offers publicly funded healthcare, migrants may also choose to have private health insurance for additional coverage and benefits. Private health insurance can provide faster access to specialist services, elective surgeries, and greater control over healthcare choices.

Accessing Specialized and Hospital Care:

In New Zealand, specialized and hospital care is available through referrals from GPs or specialists. District Health Boards manage public hospitals, and elective surgeries are prioritized based on medical urgency and clinical need.


Navigating the healthcare system in a new country can be daunting, but understanding the healthcare services available in New Zealand is essential for migrants. Enrolling with a GP, knowing how to access emergency care, considering health insurance options, and understanding the referral process for specialized care are key aspects to ensure migrants receive the necessary healthcare services. By familiarizing themselves with the healthcare system and seeking appropriate care when needed, migrants can enjoy a healthy and fulfilling life in New Zealand.

Do you want to discuss your case with our licensed immigration advisers?

Book a Consultation Now

Immigration Adviser Auckland
Scroll to Top