Five Reasons to work as a GP in New Zealand


Fraser Clarke

New Zealand is growing in popularity amongst medics, especially GPs, as the demand in the Middle East begins to slow, and NHS cuts continue to savage the system. As a result we’ve compiled a list of five reasons why you should consider a move ‘down under’.

1 - Quality of Life

New Zealand is famed worldwide for offering one of the highest standards of living available anywhere. In the 2016 Mercer’s Quality of Life Index Auckland, on the North Island, was ranked third out of more than 230 cities worldwide. Only beaten by Vienna in Austria and Zurich in Switzerland.

Mercer’s index explores a range of indicators, from a city’s infrastructure to the political and economic stability of the location. This means that it’s considered one of the most accurate guides to a country’s desirability, making New Zealand hugely attractive to anyone looking for a higher quality of life than they currently enjoy.

2 - Working Hours

Working hours in New Zealand are far lower than they are in the NHS, especially for GPs and surgeons working in rural locations. On average GPs will work from 8:30 or 9:00 until 12, and then from 2:00 until 5:00. This can vary depending on your role, and may include travelling to do some work in more rural surgeries.

Things are different for surgeons, however the premise remains the same. Lower working hours, and a more family friendly work/life balance.

3 - Productivity

New Zealand’s lower working hours appear to be having a positive impact on productivity in the country, with rates seemingly on the increase. Lower working hours within a rewarding environment can help to motivate an employee further, potentially increasing the amount of work a medic can complete - despite them spending less time in their hospital or clinic.

4 - Comparable and Potentially Lucrative Salaries

Salaries in New Zealand are commonly similar to those in the United Kingdom. GPs can expect to earn between NZ$100,000 and NZ$200,000 (£56,000 - £112,000), whilst this can rise to over NZD$250,000 (£140,000) for experienced consultants.

That’s not all though, if you’re prepared to work in a more rural area then salaries will be even higher - with a GP role famously offering a salary of NZ$400,000 to anyone willing to work in a remote location. Rural New Zealand is beautiful, however if you decide to take a job there it’s crucial that you know that travelling may become tiresome - especially when you’re miles from the nearest big city.

5 - Modern Facilities

Whether you work in the public or private sector, New Zealand is home to plenty of high quality, modern facilities. Investment has been consistent in recent years, and with the country’s population steadily increasing more hospitals, clinics and surgeries have been opened to ensure that demand is kept up with.

Don’t feel that a move to a rural country on the other side of the world will lead to a drop in the quality of your working environment therefore. In fact often the opposite can be true, especially for medics accustomed to working in overcrowded, dated NHS buildings.

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