Public Healthcare in New Zealand

All right, today we're going to be talking
about health care New Zealand. I got the idea for this video because right now my
dad is in the hospital in the U.S. and I have a friend in hospital here in New
Zealand. Over the past five years I've heard a lot of news stories from the US about the
positives and the negatives of public health care. And, I wanted to share the reality. It still blows my mind when I can walk into a hospital here, sign a form, and get care. It's a big relief when you first experience it.
You know you're gonna get care, you know it's going to be free, and you
know when you get out of the hospital that you're not gonna have to mess
around with hospital bills, or insurance companies. Now there are
catches to public health care: First of all, if you go to your family
doctor your gonna have to pay for that, which is usually about fifty dollars. But
if there's any tests following from that or you need to
go to the hospital because of that visit. That's all taken care of and it's
free. Now, waiting lists. This is one I've heard quite a bit
about and they're not quite as bad as they sound. It's basically triage. If you need immediate care, you're going to get care. If you have an elective surgery there
may be a waiting list for that. However the government does have
guidelines in place to try to keep those waiting lists
minimum. If you are really concerned about that. You can get private health insurance and go to
private health care providers. And the benefit the public system is
that, that backbone of public health care drives down the cost
private healthcare. So the consumer wins. Another concern I've seen is that taxes are gonna shoot sky high if public health care is
implemented. That's not the case. The taxes that I pay here in New Zealand
are actually comparable to what I paid in the U.S. But, not only do I get public health care
is a variety of other social services that I take advantage of here. So, when it comes time for the taxes to
be taken out of my paycheck it feels like I'm getting value for
money and peace of mind. As I said earlier, I have a friend here in hospital. So, let's go talk to her. She's
spent time in the hospital in the U.S. and in New Zealand and can give us a bit of perspective on what the differences are and what the reality has been like for her. So, when you were in the U.S. getting your health care and when you're in New Zealand getting your health care: Is the level of care similar? Ah, there's so many differences. I would say the quality health of care is
similar, in that, they're not using devices that
they would in Cuba. They do have…you know…there are cutting-edge, you know, you know, technologies that they're using. The only thing is that they're all located in Auckland. If you
need a specialist, let's say, to perform a special surgery on you, you have to go to Auckland. You can't do it here, which is what I had to
do. So I live in Wellington but I had to go to Auckland for my surgery. Auckland is the only real city that New Zealand has. There's like 1.4
million people there. It's half the country! Almost half the country lives in that
one city. Wellington there's… Central Wellington there's only 180 thousand people. So, in order to get specialist services, a lot of times you have to go up to Auckland, because there's
just not a population base to support it here in Wellington. Do they put you on a special hospital jet?
They did on the way back! Do they? Yeah, I have pictures. It's the life flight. Yeah, it only fits one passenger. Is it a jet, or is it a helicopter, what is it? I think it's a prop plane. The biggest difference is their approach. You know because, because here you can't really sue anybody. Right? They're just like, "Ah, she'll be right, she'll be right, she'll be right." In the States, they go straight to the
worst case scenario immediately. So early detection for things like
cancer is really good, and they catch stuff early, because the liability issues, because you can sue, because blah blah blah.
Here, they really let things go, "Ah, she'll be right, she'll be right."
So, as far as paperwork and things like that. Is there any bills, any paperwork, or is there
anything you've had to really do? No, not really. It's just the travel assistance forms. And then, the discharge
information which is what they're working on now which is a needs
assessment. So, I'm getting close to being able to go
home. So they're trying to figure out… Lots of people are coming in, asking me
questions about my needs. They're keeping track of how frequently the nurses come in and what kind of care they're giving me. So that when I go home I can be provided
with the appropriate level of care. But I haven't
had to do anything except for answer questions. Alright. Yeah, it's really cool! When I went to the emergency
room here, it almost felt like I was stealing? I don't know how to put it. Because, you're getting all this care, that's
expensive, and you walk out and you haven't had to pay anything. You just go home and forget about it. And if you have to get a prescription, um, you get a lot of sympathy, you know
they're like, "I'm so sorry, but you're going to have to pay for this…it's five dollars. Are you gonna be alright with that?" I remember the first time that happened to me when I got a prescription for one of my daughters and it was literally five
dollars. And the woman was profusely apologizing to me. In the states it would have been…. gosh, you know, for the five
pills she had maybe… 75…80 dollars? You know, it was wild. If you want an x-ray done and you want to
pay for it out of pocket, just because you're curious. You can go
in and get it done and it's like a hundred dollars for x-ray, an
MRI of any part of your body is about thirteen
hundred dollars. A CT scan I think was a thousand dollars. The public health care drives down the cost of the private health care here. One of the first things you notice when you come to New Zealand is level housing is much lower. And its crazy cause you go into the hospital here, and it's fully modern. But, most peoples' houses don't have heat, or air-conditioning, unless they're newer or the person as some disposable income. We'll be doing a video on this for sure. [over talk, cross talk] If you liked this video, click to subscribe. I'll be making videos once a month about life here in New Zealand. But for today, thanks for
tuning in!


  1. There is nothing free about public health there’s nothing free about any health I can’t understand where you think it’s free

  2. 2017 New Zealand Health Services release waiting time for surgery is 304 days. Many cancer treatments not available.

  3. I am from China, Chinese government said that healthcare will be the important income to Chinese government, yeah, it is China, the most evil devil

  4. Doctors suggested no need to cut lipoma off because is not contagious so l left i, now it grew so fucking big that everyone thought is a tumour. If doctors that l saw are professional in New Zealand they should told me to cut it off instead of leaving it there. Should l trust New Zealand doctors? I don't think so..

  5. There are major Hospitals in all of the main cities in New Zealand and smaller l hospitals in many local rural areas or towns. Auckland,Wellington,and Christchurch all specialize, not just Auckland as this video implied. I would have liked to see the comparisons of care in a U.S.A Hospital as well. Thank you.

  6. 5:02 well actually you have paid for it in essence you pre payed for it with the taxes you paid last year and every year before that soo its more that you're redeeming the service you've paid for 🙂

  7. Hi people l would like to work as a nurse aid in New Zealand can anyone help. I am a brittish trained nurse aid.

  8. Possibly a little late to the party, but to be clear – there are a wide range of specialist services at secondary and tertiary hospitals across the country. Sure, our challenge is population size and economy of scale, but Auckland has a small range of sub-specialty services that are only provided there, which is where I suspect your friend's situation sits. The way you represented specialist services as being only available in Auckland appears to indicate that the balance of the country runs services out of country shacks. The flip side of the litigation coin is that where litigation exists (the US), then there is a perverse incentive to over-diagnose and over treat, which drives up costs across the board. The balance in the NZ experience is not really a 'she'll be right' approach, but a more realistic reliance on evidence based medicine, not fear or litigation avoidance-based medicine. Hope this helps

  9. I have asthma & am curious about moving to New Zealand. But not to Auckland, are there health clinics in the surrounding cities?

  10. I love living in New Zealand, when I look at the rest of the world we really have everything so much better <3

  11. Great video, often have US friends asking me bout how it all works here, the pros and cons etc, will show them this as I don't have too much experience with the system here and you've both explained it really well.

  12. Auckland New Zealand's only real city, why not add New Zealand's most problematic city and what an insult to the wider NZ , and in the USA this would be termed communism, how sad ,

  13. can you maybe do a video about the history of NZ Heath care? just hearing little things about it interests me. particularly how the ambulance service works and the building of the public / private parts of it. (if you have knowledge in such of course)

  14. I've just subscribed to your channel and really like your insight, and quality video productions. Your friend in this video raised a good point about our relaxed approach in the NZ healthcare system in terms of not being subjected to potential law suits, and that's made me rethink about getting some level of private healthcare cover as well.

    I hope you do make a video about the condition and construction of NZ housing. I didn't realise this was an issue until a few months ago when I came across a blog filled with posts by Americans who were appalled by our housing standards. Thanks, and I look forward to you future videos.

  15. I live in Tennessee and my wife and I are thinking of moving to New Zealand with our 2 kids. One of our kids has Autism and my son and i both have a degenerative nerve disease and i am afraid of government health care with a life long condition. New Zealand is one of the best places to be raised with autism but i am worried about lethargic care because its a life long condition. Any experience with this.

  16. It's only $50 if you're middle income. If you're low income, under 13 or a senior citizen, it's either free or subsidized.

  17. Realy nice video, i'm from Chile and we have a similar healthcare from the one of USA. And one thing im afraid is, what if something happen to me, and i cant really pay it?, but at the same time your video show me that public healthcare has its own flaws too. Thank you, it is very educative 🙂

  18. Nice to hear such positive comments about our healthcare system. I for one have the greatest respect for all our doctors, nurses and ancillary staff……

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