Introduction

Getting seen by a doctor is usually easy (unless you live somewhere very remote), and healthcare is quite affordable. New Zealand residents and some work visa holders benefit from a public health system that is free or low cost, thanks to heavy government subsidies. New Zealand residents can choose to take out medical insurance for private healthcare, although many New Zealanders do not opt for this additional cover. Non-residents can also use healthcare services at a cost, but should get medical insurance from their home country.
If you need medical help and it is not an emergency, the first point of contact is a general practitioner (GP). Most GPs in New Zealand work in groups called a practice, operating from a Medical Centre. A GP is a fully trained medical doctor who can give you medical advice and refer you for further tests or specialist treatment if needed. Treatment may be either in the public health system (which is subsidised or free) or through private providers (user pays).

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