The end of a year is often a time for reflection, but it should also be an opportunity for us to look forward, in order to consider if it’s finally time for a move abroad to enhance not only your career, but your everyday life too.
If you are considering a move to work as a medic overseas, yet want more than just an increased salary package to tempt you then New Zealand could be the perfect option. Not only does the country offer generous salaries, it also prides itself on providing a relaxed and well balanced way of life.
A move to the country may have been something you were considering, or it could be a totally new idea. Either way we’re here to help, with our guide to three reasons to move New Zealand in 2017.
Life in the Healthcare System
Worldwide New Zealand is renowned as a country with a slow paced, relaxed way of life. This is no different in the healthcare system, where a strong focus is placed on ensuring that all medics have a healthy work/life balance. As a result facilities throughout the country are well staffed, whilst fixed hours contracts ensure that medics aren’t overworked, whilst funding (over 11% of the GDP) is extremely generous.
That’s not all, opportunities exist for GPs to buy into their own practice, something that can make working more financially rewarding - and give you greater freedom over your career’s future.
A Unique Healthcare Funding Model
Healthcare in New Zealand is delivered as 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 scheme 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 car crash. 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 £21 - £28).
The public health system in New Zealand is split into 20 different district health boards (usually shortened to DHBs). 15 of these serve the 3.5 million residents of the North Island, and 5 operate for the 1 million on the South Island.
By operating in smaller regional health boards medics will have a stronger working relationship with those in charge of their area. This opens easier channels of communication between medics, management and administrative staff, allowing you to easily make your views heard.
Finances and Immigration
Salaries in the country are similar to the UK, however with the additional benefits of shorter working hours and more annual and study leave.
A GP can expect to earn between $150,000NZD to $180,000NZD (£84,000 - £100,000), whilst consultants wages are commonly closer to $200,000NZD - $300,000NZD (£111,000 - £167,000), but with plenty of added incentives. The income tax rate in the country is just 33%, whilst there are no National Insurance contributions that are needed meaning that net earnings are often more than they would be in the UK.
Further to this the visa process is far quicker and less drawn out than it is in other locations. In Australia waiting times for a visa will often be over nine months, whereas in New Zealand it can be received often in as little as three and, unlike in other countries, you aren’t channeled into an area of need, meaning that you are free to work wherever you can find employment.
Financially a move to New Zealand can be rewarding, but it is the lifestyle that attracts most people. A similar culture, relaxing way of life and high quality healthcare system can make the country an ideal move for anyone looking to escape from the NHS.
For more information, or to start your journey to the country today, register on our website for job alerts and all the latest news from the worldwide healthcare industry.