New Zealand set to consolidate healthcare into National service

On April 21, 2021 the New Zealand government announced that it is to consolidate the fragmented health system in the country into a national service. The consolidated system is to look more like the ones implemented in Britain.

Key Highlights

Currently the New Zealand Health System is divided into 20 District Health Boards. Each District Health Board has its own budget. These District Health Boards are to be replaced by a single new body called Health New Zealand.

Why the Consolidation?

The health system of New Zealand is Government subsidized. However, the patients visiting the hospital have to pay a portion of the cost to access many health services. More than one-third of the New Zealand citizens opt to pay additional benefits that are offered by private health insurers. The new health system is expected to change this scenario and combine all the facilities under a single head.

Also, the health care system is uneven. For instance, only the northern region District Health Boards have developed telehealth systems.

Healthcare system in New Zealand

New Zealand spends 8.7 % of its GDP on Health care. Among the 14 developed countries in the world, New Zealand has the lowest level of medication use and also spends the lowest amount on Healthcare. On an average New Zealand spends 2,510 USD per capita on its Health care as compared to 7,290 USD per capita spent by the United States.


The Pharmaceutical Management Agency of New Zealand was established in 1993. This agency decides which medication should get government subsidy. Currently there are 2000 drugs that are partly or completely subsidised by the New Zealand Government.

Emergency Services

Most of the emergency ambulance transportation in the country is carried out by charitable organisations.


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