Foreign nationals with a residence permit can join the state-funded health system and receive a National Health Index (NHI) number at their first visit to a doctor/hospital. New Zealand's public healthcare system provides basic coverage. Many people therefore choose to take out private health insurance as well. To see a medical specialist you usually need a referral from your general practitioner (GP). It's free to enrol with a GP but they may charge a consultation fee each time you go to see them after that. Treatment in public hospitals is free of charge, but prescribed medicines are only partially reimbursed. Most doctors have their own private practice and charge consultation and other fees.
Without a visa that is valid for at least two years, it is difficult to take out private health insurance. You are advised to check your insurance options before entering New Zealand.
New Zealand's accident compensation scheme, administered by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), provides 24-hour no-fault personal accident insurance cover. The ACC provides cover for treatment costs and partial compensation for lost income to anyone injured in an accident in New Zealand, regardless of their nationality or residence status. Accidents at home, work or during leisure activities are also covered. Claims can also be submitted to the ACC for injuries caused by medical treatment, sexual violence, and conditions that come on gradually from work.