Healthcare in New Zealand

– For my American friends who still haven’t worked out how badly you are being treated by the corporate owned and dominated healthcare industry in the U.S., let me share the details of my small interaction this afternoon with the New Zealand system.

– I made an appointment with my GP two days ago and I went in today to see him and discuss my current health (which has returned to excellent) and to get some prescriptions renewed.

– I noted that he has copies of all my medical records from the several places here in New Zealand where I’ve generated records; 24 hour walk-ins, other GP’s offices and the hospital.   It’s all shared electronically here and the system is organized so that it all your medical records go automatically to your GP (who you can change any time you like at no charge and all your records will follow you).

– My appointment was at the end of the day at 5 PM and, amazingly, he was only 10 minutes late in seeing me.

– I spent 20 minutes with him talking over various issues and discussing prescriptions and whether, based on research, I should be taking this or that.   In the end, he wrote me five prescriptions. 

– At the front desk, my bill for seeing him was $38.00.   I then walked next door (literally) to the pharmacy and my prescriptions were filled in under 10 minutes and I was charged $3.00 each or a total of $15.00.   I know from earlier experiences that those which have refills authorized will be refilled for no charge.   The original $3.00 covers it.

– Here, the medical system is what some would call Socialized Medicine.   That simply means that we, the people, all pay for it with our taxes.   The government has a special branch that shops for the prescription medicines consumed in the country.   It’s a simple circle:  we all pay taxes, according to how much we earn, to subsidize the medical system.  And we all use and benefit from it according to our level of need.

– In the U.S., there’s something or someone else in what should be a simple circle.   It’s the corporate for-profit entities.   And they are milking the American consumer big time to maximize their profits and holding the health of Americans for ransom in order to do it.   Meanwhile, the U.S. government, which collects nearly as much tax as is collected here, doesn’t have to use that money to maintain the health of the American people because the corporate entities have said, “No problem, we’ve got it covered“.  Yeah, right!   So, the government is free to spend the taxes Americans pay instead on foreign wars, bank bailouts and whatever else they think governments are suppose to be about.

– In my opinion, the purpose of government’s should be about maximizing the quality of life for all of its citizens – not just for its ‘corporate citizens’.

– Wake up my friends – things are a mess there!

– dennis

One Response to “Healthcare in New Zealand”

  1. Kathy says:

    As an American ex-pat living in New Zealand, I’m pretty pleased with the healthcare here as well. I don’t claim to fully be knowledgeable about this but this article crossed my path about the US trying to get a leg into the NZ healthcare system which, seems to me, would be a bad bad thing….

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE1106/S00011/health-organisations-oppose-any-change-to-pharmac.htm

    Do you know anything about this Dennis?