At a Glance - New Zealand

New Zealand work opportunities for global doctors.

Fraser Clarke

It can be difficult to know where to start when planning a move overseas, especially if you aren’t fully sure where your future could lie. 

That’s why our latest Odyssey Exclusive series ‘At a Glance’ will help provide you with a quick overview of each location we work with, to help you decide if a move to the country could be worth pursuing.

Article Seven - New Zealand

Where is it?

New Zealand is located more than 11,000 miles from London, south-east of Australia.

This makes reaching the country an arduous task. There are no direct flights available from the UK, but plenty with connections are easily bookable. A one-stop flight can take between 22 and 25 hours, whilst a two-stop can often take more than 26.

The country can also be deceptively large, with internal flights between the northern tip of the North Island and South Island taking more than three hours.

For someone keen to explore a continent, New Zealand isn’t ideal.

How is Healthcare Structured?

The healthcare system in New Zealand is a mixture of a public/private hybrid system and a smaller fully private system. The public system is either free or heavily subsidised for the country’s citizens at the point of need, and this is paid for partially by an innovative scheme called ‘The Accident Compensation Corporation’ (the ACC).

The ACC covers the cost of treatment for cases which are deemed to be as a result of an accident, such as injuries sustained playing sport or in a road traffic collision. The funding is received from levies which are placed on employers, employees and even vehicle registrations.

Non accidental injuries and illnesses for which the patient requires treatment is provided free of charge - assuming that the patient has been referred by a GP or family doctor. Whilst this secondary treatment is free the initial visit to the GP will cost between $45NZD and $60NZD (around £22 - £30).

The public health system in New Zealand is split into 20 different district health boards (DHBs). 15 of these serve the 3.5 million North Island residents, and 5 operate for the 1 million on the South Island.

The private system is smaller than many other countries, making up roughly 23% of the market, but it plays a crucial role in easing the workload on the state system. This keeps the average waiting times for common surgeries like knee and hip lower than they are in the UK, and ensures that a focus can be placed on the quality of the service not the time taken.

In the country as a whole 11.1% of the total GDP is spent on healthcare, a larger percentage than other major countries like the UK, Japan, Spain and Finland. This investment is reflected in a higher than average life expectancy, a figure that is continuing to rise at an impressive pace. It is estimated that a newborn child in New Zealand will now live to the age of 93. A figure that is a tribute to the success of the system, and healthy lifestyle that it promotes. 

What will I need?

We’ve got quite a few openings available in New Zealand at the moment, all have their own criteria - however most employers will look for:

  • Eligibility for registration with the Medical Council of New Zealand.
  • FRACP or equivalent from a Western location
  • Fluency in English
  • Some experience post certification

What are the positives?

  • A relaxed way of life
  • Little culture shock for Westerners
  • Stunning scenery
  • Employers are focused on maintaining a healthy work/life balance
  • An extremely low crime rate

What are the negatives?

  • It can feel very isolated
  • Poor public transport infrastructure makes owning a car a necessity
  • The cost of living can be high, with everything from food to accommodation coming at a premium 

Current Roles

We’ve got plenty on offer in New Zealand on our website, so sign up.

Register for Jobs in New Zealand