All right, today we’re going to be talking
about health care New Zealand. I got the idea for this video because right now my
dad is in the hospital in the U.S. and I have a friend in hospital here in New
Zealand. Over the past five years I’ve heard a lot of news stories from the US about the
positives and the negatives of public health care. And, I wanted to share the reality. It still blows my mind when I can walk into a hospital here, sign a form, and get care. It’s a big relief when you first experience it.
You know you’re gonna get care, you know it’s going to be free, and you
know when you get out of the hospital that you’re not gonna have to mess
around with hospital bills, or insurance companies. Now there are
catches to public health care: First of all, if you go to your family
doctor your gonna have to pay for that, which is usually about fifty dollars. But
if there’s any tests following from that or you need to
go to the hospital because of that visit. That’s all taken care of and it’s
free. Now, waiting lists. This is one I’ve heard quite a bit
about and they’re not quite as bad as they sound. It’s basically triage. If you need immediate care, you’re going to get care. If you have an elective surgery there
may be a waiting list for that. However the government does have
guidelines in place to try to keep those waiting lists
minimum. If you are really concerned about that. You can get private health insurance and go to
private health care providers. And the benefit the public system is
that, that backbone of public health care drives down the cost
private healthcare. So the consumer wins. Another concern I’ve seen is that taxes are gonna shoot sky high if public health care is
implemented. That’s not the case. The taxes that I pay here in New Zealand
are actually comparable to what I paid in the U.S. But, not only do I get public health care
is a variety of other social services that I take advantage of here. So, when it comes time for the taxes to
be taken out of my paycheck it feels like I’m getting value for
money and peace of mind. As I said earlier, I have a friend here in hospital. So, let’s go talk to her. She’s
spent time in the hospital in the U.S. and in New Zealand and can give us a bit of perspective on what the differences are and what the reality has been like for her. So, when you were in the U.S. getting your health care and when you’re in New Zealand getting your health care: Is the level of care similar? Ah, there’s so many differences. I would say the quality health of care is
similar, in that, they’re not using devices that
they would in Cuba. They do have…you know…there are cutting-edge, you know, you know, technologies that they’re using. The only thing is that they’re all located in Auckland. If you
need a specialist, let’s say, to perform a special surgery on you, you have to go to Auckland. You can’t do it here, which is what I had to
do. So I live in Wellington but I had to go to Auckland for my surgery. Auckland is the only real city that New Zealand has. There’s like 1.4
million people there. It’s half the country! Almost half the country lives in that
one city. Wellington there’s… Central Wellington there’s only 180 thousand people. So, in order to get specialist services, a lot of times you have to go up to Auckland, because there’s
just not a population base to support it here in Wellington. Do they put you on a special hospital jet?
They did on the way back! Do they? Yeah, I have pictures. It’s the life flight. Yeah, it only fits one passenger. Is it a jet, or is it a helicopter, what is it? I think it’s a prop plane. The biggest difference is their approach. You know because, because here you can’t really sue anybody. Right? They’re just like, “Ah, she’ll be right, she’ll be right, she’ll be right.” In the States, they go straight to the
worst case scenario immediately. So early detection for things like
cancer is really good, and they catch stuff early, because the liability issues, because you can sue, because blah blah blah.
Here, they really let things go, “Ah, she’ll be right, she’ll be right.”
So, as far as paperwork and things like that. Is there any bills, any paperwork, or is there
anything you’ve had to really do? No, not really. It’s just the travel assistance forms. And then, the discharge
information which is what they’re working on now which is a needs
assessment. So, I’m getting close to being able to go
home. So they’re trying to figure out… Lots of people are coming in, asking me
questions about my needs. They’re keeping track of how frequently the nurses come in and what kind of care they’re giving me. So that when I go home I can be provided
with the appropriate level of care. But I haven’t
had to do anything except for answer questions. Alright. Yeah, it’s really cool! When I went to the emergency
room here, it almost felt like I was stealing? I don’t know how to put it. Because, you’re getting all this care, that’s
expensive, and you walk out and you haven’t had to pay anything. You just go home and forget about it. And if you have to get a prescription, um, you get a lot of sympathy, you know
they’re like, “I’m so sorry, but you’re going to have to pay for this…it’s five dollars. Are you gonna be alright with that?” I remember the first time that happened to me when I got a prescription for one of my daughters and it was literally five
dollars. And the woman was profusely apologizing to me. In the states it would have been…. gosh, you know, for the five
pills she had maybe… 75…80 dollars? You know, it was wild. If you want an x-ray done and you want to
pay for it out of pocket, just because you’re curious. You can go
in and get it done and it’s like a hundred dollars for x-ray, an
MRI of any part of your body is about thirteen
hundred dollars. A CT scan I think was a thousand dollars. The public health care drives down the cost of the private health care here. One of the first things you notice when you come to New Zealand is level housing is much lower. And its crazy cause you go into the hospital here, and it’s fully modern. But, most peoples’ houses don’t have heat, or air-conditioning, unless they’re newer or the person as some disposable income. We’ll be doing a video on this for sure. [over talk, cross talk] If you liked this video, click to subscribe. I’ll be making videos once a month about life here in New Zealand. But for today, thanks for
tuning in!