What Do GPs Earn in New Zealand? (2023)

GP Salary New Zealand

If you’re thinking about working as a GP in New Zealand, then you are likely to be attracted by a beautiful country offering beaches, nature, outdoor adventures plus national parks for walking and biking.

You may also be thinking about the work – life balance which GPs in New Zealand enjoy and want to find out more about what life is like. One of the questions we’re often asked, is what the salary is for GPs in New Zealand. We will address these and answer your questions below.

A full time working week in New Zealand is 40 hours per week, over 5 days (10 sessions). In reality however, most GPs don’t work full time. The majority of the contracts we see are 32 hours per week which allows for a day off in the week although there is generally scope to work up to 10 sessions if you wish. The pace of work is also more relaxed with standard appointment times of 15 minutes. You can work fewer hours, however on a temporary work visa, the minimum number of hours required is 30 per week.

GP salaries in New Zealand can be stated as an hourly rate or an annual salary. GP income is around $200K – $220K for a full time position of 40 hours per week. This would be pro-rata for less than 10 sessions.

The current average GP Salary in New Zealand is $106.37 NZD per hour.

Contracts are employment agreements which also include paid annual leave and sick leave plus other benefits such as paid medical indemnity insurance, registration fees and sometimes relocation assistance.

How Do NZ Salaries Compare with the UK?

How your NZ GP income compares will depend on the type of practise in the UK. Salaried GPs may find their income slightly more or at least comparable. If however you are in a successful GP Partnership or busy doing Locum or Out of hours shifts, you may find income to be lower.

Money however, is not everything, and what attracts GPs to New Zealand is the lifestyle. It offers a relaxed pace of life, amazing (free!) outdoor and indoor activities for the family, and a well run healthcare system where GPs are looked after.

We have placed many doctors in New Zealand who find the people very friendly and life much more relaxed. If you would like to find out more about working in New Zealand please do get in touch with our team!

Further Reading

One of our highest paid GP jobs on the South Island

What is life like for GPs in New Zealand

 

 

 

What is life like for GPs in New Zealand?

What is it like to work as a GP in New Zealand

Before you start your New Zealand GP Job search, you may want to find out more about day to day life in New Zealand.

There are just 4.8 million New Zealanders, scattered across 270,534 sq km: bigger than the UK with one-fourteenth the population. New Zealand is the land of extremes with sublime forests, mountains, lakes, beaches and glaziers. It is relatively easy to travel around with distances between different towns and cities not being too great. Transport networks are well developed with airports throughout the country and well maintained highways.

It is made up of two main islands and numerous smaller ones: the North Island (known as Te Ika-a-Maui in Maori) is the more populous of the two, and is separated by the Cook Strait from the somewhat larger but much less populated South Island (or Te Waipounamu).

New Zealand is consistently rated as a country with one of the highest qualities of life in the world. It offers a safe environment for the whole family offering a great outdoor lifestyle.  New Zealand is an increasing multicultural society that appeals due to its diversity, laid back way of life and temperate climate.

New Zealand People

This former British colony has a population mainly of European descent but with an important indigenous Māori minority of mixed blood, a rapidly growing Asian minority, and smaller minorities of Polynesians, people from the Americas, South Africans and African.

The people of New Zealand are famed for their relaxed and friendly approach. More than one million New Zealanders were born overseas.

New Zealand Climate

New Zealand has mild temperatures, moderate rainfall and many hours of sunshine. While the far north has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can get as cold as -10°C in winter, most of the country lies close to the coast with milder temperatures.

The average New Zealand temperature decreases as you travel south.  With their summer over January and February, these are the warmest months, and July is the coldest month of the year. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30ºC (70-90°F) and in winter between 10-15ºC (50-60°F).

Most places in New Zealand receive over 2,000 hours of sunshine a year, with the sunniest areas – Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Nelson/Marlborough – receiving over 2,350 hours. As New Zealand observes daylight saving, during summer months daylight can last up until 9.30pm.

Cost of Living as a GP in New Zealand

Cost of living in New Zealand will very much depend on which part of the country you relocate.

One independent international survey ranked Auckland 58th in the world in terms of its cost of living, and Wellington 75th, far better than other major cities. Such cities included Hong Kong (3), Singapore (4), New York (16), London (25), Sydney (26), Melbourne (33) and Guangzhou (31) – showing that comparatively, New Zealand’s major metropolitan areas are more affordable. See our recent blog piece on cost of living for a GP in New Zealand

For an up to date costs of different items please see here 

New Zealand GP Registration Process

The registration process for New Zealand is relatively straightforward and usually takes a month to complete the application with the Medical Council of New Zealand.  To complete the full immigration and registration process you should allow 3 months after we have secured you a position. You will be eligible for registration if you hold a specialist GP certificate (i.e. MRCGP / MICGP / JCPTGP / PMETB).

If you hold your GP qualification from another country then you may be eligible for ‘comparable healthcare.’ registration.  You will be required to hold 3 years of comparable healthcare experience. Please see the MCNZ website for a full list of comparable countries.

All new registrants, regardless of seniority, must work under supervision for the first 6-12 months in New Zealand to become familiar with the culture.  During this time you will be registered within a provisional general scope of practice and performance will be assessed by senior colleagues.

You will be required to complete certain requirements to be registered within a general scope. This will cause minimal impact on your day to day job and you will still be able to see patients independently.

NZ Visa for GPs 

To assist you through the complex immigration process we work with a Licensed Immigration Advisor who is registered with the Immigration Advisers Authority New Zealand. Our Immigration Advisor, Nicola, will expertly assist you and manage your visa process for you and your family. There are options for either a temporary work visa or a Straight to Residence visa which can be applied for from your home country.

What does a GP earn in New Zealand?

The minimum hours you are required to work to comply with your visa are 30. Most GPs work 8 sessions per week (32 hours).

Unlike Australia, there are no restrictions on where you can practise as a GP in New Zealand allowing you the option to choose where to live and work; be it in the city centre, by the beach or somewhere more rural.

As a GP moving to New Zealand you will be offered an employed, salary position ($180 – $200k NZD for a full time position). You may perhaps have the option to buy into the practice or take over the practice at a later date.  Work / life balance is excellent in New Zealand, most GPs only see 4 patients per hour allowing more time with patients and less bureaucracy and paperwork.

NZ Tax Rate 

2023 – 2024

10.5%              $0 to $14,000

17.5%              $14,001 to $48,000

30%                 $48,001 to $70,000

33%                 $70,001 to $180,000

39%                 $180,000 and above

For more detailed up to date tax information please see the tax office website

Income tax calculator

New Zealand Schools and Education

There’s a choice of three types of school in New Zealand – state schools (funded by the government), ‘state integrated’ schools and private schools.

State schools are the choice for the vast majority of New Zealand children (85%). Schooling is free at these schools, although parents are asked for a contribution to help cover costs of activities that are outside of the core curriculum. Typically this will be around NZ$250- $500. There will also be other charges for sports, school trips, special tuition, exam fees, and other course related costs.

‘State integrated’ schools are schools with a special character – they may be run by a particular religious faith e.g. Catholic or use specialist education methods like Steiner or Montessori. Just over 10% of students are enrolled at these schools. Education in state integrated schools is also funded by the government but the schools may charge fees for various facilities which are usually around NZ$1,500 a year. Just under 5% of children go to private schools which charge around NZ$20,000 in fees a year.

School usually starts at 9am and runs to 3pm or 3:30pm. There are four school terms running from late January to mid-December with two-week breaks between them and a six-week summer break at the end of the year.

New Zealand Accommodation

Most GPs choose to rent a property in New Zealand first and buy later when settled. Housing varies greatly across the country.  Prices tend to be higher in the cities with Auckland being the most expensive and slightly lower on the south island.  For more information on property please see Realestate.co.nz and TradeMe

New Zealand Healthcare System

Primary healthcare, including general practice, out-patient services, and prescriptions, is funded by a combination of public subsidy and private contributions. General Practitioners provide primary, community based, comprehensive and continuing patient-centred care to individuals, families and the community. Many general practices run as private businesses and set their own fees which are paid by the patient.

The cost of a visit will be lower if you’re enrolled with the GP, because the government subsidises the fee. Some general practices join a ‘low cost access’ programme run by their primary health organisation (PHO) which is overseen by the local District Health Board. This means they get extra government funding to keep their fees at low levels.  GPs, Practice Nurses, Māori health providers and other primary healthcare providers work together to meet the health requirements of the local people, with PHOs funded according to the demographics and needs of their population.

Secondary healthcare services, including acute hospital treatment, are free to those who meet the eligibility criteria. New Zealand has a reciprocal agreement with the UK to provide free treatment. There is strong uptake of private health insurance (as in Australia), partially triggered by long waits for state hospital treatment.

Speak to Our GP Recruitment Team

Thinking about relocating to New Zealand? Our experienced GP team are here to help. We can advise on everything from visa queries to questions about the cost of living in New Zealand. Speak to us today to get started on your move down under or browse some of our excellent GP Jobs in New Zealand. 

Further Reading
8 Benefits of Moving to New Zealand
Is there an age limit for GPs
The Cost of Living as a Doctor in New Zealand

Useful Links
Medical Council of New Zealand
Immigration New Zealand 

Education

Is there an age limit for GPs in Australia?

Age Limit for GPs in Australia and New Zealand

A question we’re asked so often is ‘am I too old to work in Australia or New Zealand, or ‘what is the age limit for working as a GP in Australia or New Zealand?

The answer is, there is no age limit. We have helped GPs ranging from newly qualified doctors through to GPs who have reached retirement, not ready to stop work and fancy a working holiday in New Zealand.

GP practices in Australia and New Zealand struggle to recruit within the home countries as there is a shortage of locally qualified doctors. GPs from the UK and Ireland and other comparable countries settle into life down under easily due to the comparability of training and experience.

Age Limit for Visas for Australia and New Zealand

It is likely that the first visa you apply for in either country is a temporary work visa. This is the fastest, cheapest and most straightforward way of working as a GP in Australia or New Zealand. Once you’ve secured a GP job, we will help you with your medical registration and visa applications. A temporary work visa allows you to start work and get to know the lifestyle and work environment first hand before committing to a more permanent visa. There is no age limit for temporary work visas for GPs in Australia or New Zealand. There are other factors you must meet such as health and good standing requirements which we can discuss in further detail.

Age Limit for Permanent Visas for GPs

If you are interested in applying for permanent residency then one of our Immigration Advisors can advise on the most appropriate route to PR in Australia or New Zealand.

There are upper age limits when applying for permanent residency which will depend on the type of visa applied for. To be eligible to apply for the Straight to Residence visa in New Zealand then you must apply before the age of 56.  To apply for the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) then you must be under the age of 45. There are however other options and exemptions apply if you are sponsored by the practice and can meet other criteria. We have many doctors after the age of 45 who apply using this pathway/

Our specialist Immigration Advisors can advise on your individual circumstances. For more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Further Reading

Straight to Residence Visa for New Zealand

Visas for Doctors in Australia

 

Radiology Consultant Jobs – New Zealand

Radiology Consultant Jobs in New Zealand

We are now recruiting Radiology Consultants in New Zealand! Transition Medical has been established as the ‘go to’ agency for GPs relocating to New Zealand and Australia for many years now. We have built up successful relationships with medical practices across both countries and have helped many GPs make their dream a reality.

We are now expanding our services to help Radiologists who are wishing to have a working holiday in New Zealand or to make NZ their permanent home.

We’re been contacted by the Health Board in New Zealand who are looking for various Consultant level positions across Aotearoa.

We have vacancies in private practice and Public hospitals across New Zealand. You’ll have the opportunity to gain experience in a different health care system, work with some great teams whilst enjoying a great income and work / life balance.

If you or someone you know may be interested or want to find out more please do get in touch.

Working as a Radiologist in New Zealand

New Zealand is consistently rated as a country with one of the highest qualities of life in the world. It offers a safe environment for the whole family offering a great outdoor lifestyle.

New Zealand has a mild climate, moderate rainfall and many hours of sunshine. The weather varies across the county, with the warmest weather in the northern part of the North Island with subtropical climate. Many places such as Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay and Nelson / Marlborough receiving over 2000 hours of sunshine every year.

You can choose to work full or part time with minimum hours being 30 per week to meet visa requirements. There are no restrictions on where you can practise in New Zealand so you can choose to live and work in the city, somewhere coastal or rural.

For more information please do get in touch with one of our team to find out more.

Further Reading:

Find out more about the ‘Fast track’ pathway to Residency for Doctors in New Zealand

Cost of Living for Doctors working in New Zealand

 

The Cost of Living in New Zealand as a Doctor

How Does the Cost of Living and Working as a Doctor in New Zealand Compare to the UK?

Before you begin looking for GP jobs in New Zealand, you may want to consider the costs of living and working as a GP in New Zealand. Many of our GPs decide to move to New Zealand due to its warm climate, amazing scenery and the fabulous work/life balance available to doctors. We’ll discuss some of the basic expenses and costs to consider before accepting a GP job in New Zealand.

New Zealand Doctor Salary

New Zealand offers attractive doctor salaries. As you won’t need to pay high taxes (most of your income is taxed at maximum of 30 or 33%) or National Insurance contributions, your salary will go even further. On average, General Practitioners salaries vary between NZ$180 – $200K depending on experience and location. With an average wage of around £100K, GPs will easily be able to afford a comfortable lifestyle.

Relocation & Accommodation Assistance for Doctors

Many GP jobs in New Zealand offer additional financial support to help with relocation. These are generally subject to negotiation and will need to be worked out with your employer. Many practices cover the cost of your practicing certificate and professional indemnity fees and we can negotiate relocation assistance for you.

New Zealand Housing Costs

Due to a recent housing boom, the cost of buying a home in some areas is higher than in the UK. Auckland is one of the most expensive places to buy property in New Zealand, with average prices reaching NZD$1.3 million at the end of 2021 However, the majority of our doctors relocate to other areas of New Zealand across the North and South Island further afield from Auckland where rental and house prices are much more affordable. 

Living Costs for GPs in New Zealand

Some basic living costs are much cheaper in New Zealand than here in the UK while others are a little more expensive. In this ever changing world of cost of living it’s a difficult one to quantify however we find our GPs have a great standard of living.

Working in New Zealand as a Doctor

The demand for skilled workers in New Zealand is very high and we currently have plenty of GP jobs available across New Zealand. Our GPs report more favourable working conditions than in the UK as they are often given more time to study and are required to work fewer hours. On average, doctors in New Zealand are only expected to work 32 hours across four days. As a result, working in New Zealand as a GP often provides a better work/life balance and living standard than working in the UK.

Speak to Our GP Medical Recruitment Specialists

Thinking about relocating to New Zealand? Our experienced medical recruitment specialists are here to help. We can advise on everything from visa queries to questions about the cost of living in New Zealand. Speak to us today to get started on your move down under or browse some of our excellent GP jobs New Zealand.

Other Blogs about Working in New Zealand as a GP

8 Benefits of Moving to New Zealand

Discover some of the most common reasons you should consider moving to New Zealand. From more time with patients to a better work/life balance, read about the benefits of working in New Zealand as a doctor.

What is Life like for GPs in New Zealand

Read out guide here to find out what it’s like to work as a GP in New Zealand. From the Medical Registration process to visas for New Zealand, we’ll answer some of the questions you may have.

Day in the Life of a GP

We spoke to two GPs we placed in New Zealand last year to find out more about how they find how life in different in New Zealand as a GP compared to the UK.

Useful Links

Cost of Living NZ

Cost of Living Calculator

GP Registration in New Zealand

Can I work in New Zealand as a GP?

If you’re currently working as a GP and are interested in relocating to New Zealand to work as a GP, you will have questions about whether your training and education pathway is transferable to allow you to gain registration with the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ)

 New Zealand Medical Registration Pathways

There are three pathways to medical registration in New Zealand. These are suitable for not only GPs but other specialties of doctors.

  • General Scope
  • Vocational Scope
  • Special Purpose Scope (Locum Tenens)

We will discuss the General Scope specifically in this blog.

NZ General Scope

The route Transition Medical most commonly use to assist our GPs apply for medical registration in New Zealand. Overseas trained GPs can apply for General Scope using either the Competent Authority Pathway or the Comparable Health pathway.

Competent Authority Pathway

You can apply for registration using this pathway if you hold your primary medical degree from either the UK or Ireland and have completed your internship from either country.

Comparable Health Pathway

The Medical Council recognises 24 countries as being comparable. You can apply for registration via this pathway if you have recent experience in a comparable health system. If you are currently working as a GP in the UK but completed your medical degree elsewhere, this is the pathway we will use for registration. If you’re currently working in one of the countries listed below, we will also use this pathway for your registration.

Current List of Comparable Health countries

To meet the criteria for Comparable Health, you must hold the following:

  • An acceptable primary medical qualification
  • Have practised clinically for at least 33 months out of the last 48 months for a minimum of 20 hours in a comparable health system
  • Have practised in the same area of medicine for those 33 months
  • Hold current full or general registration in your comparable health system

OR

  • Have completed a formal postgraduate GP training programme and been awarded a postgraduate qualification in general practice in a comparable health system within the preceding three years immediately prior to application; and
  • Have practised in a comparable health system, for at least 33 months (for at least 30 hours per week) of the 48 months prior to application, including at least 18 months (full-time equivalent) of practice in general practice and
  • Hold current full or general registration with the regulatory authority

If you hold a GP qualification and / or experience from one of the countries listed above and would like to find out more, get in touch with our team today to discuss further.

Further Reading

An overview of the Registration pathway and what practices are looking for in GPs moving

Find out more about what the cost of living is like as a GP in New Zealand

How are you supported into GP practice in New Zealand

8 Benefits for GPs moving to New Zealand

 

 

 

Finding a GP Job in New Zealand?

Can I work as a GP in New Zealand?

New Zealand is consistently rated as a country with one of the highest qualities of life in the world. It offers a safe environment for the whole family offering a great outdoor lifestyle.  New Zealand is an increasing multicultural society that appeals due to its diversity, laid back way of life and temperate climate.

As a GP working in New Zealand, you can expect a better work / life balance with more time with patients and a supportive work environment. Most GPs work 4 days per week with plenty of time off with your family or to explore what New Zealand has to offer.

Can I find a GP job in New Zealand?

GPs are in high demand in NZ, with an increasing shortage due to a retiring population. You can work in any location in any practice, with no limitations over where and when you can work. GPs earn an excellent salary which is 3-4 times that of the average income in New Zealand affording you a great lifestyle.

We have a huge demand from our medical centres for comparable GPs who can help them meet their patient demand. We have GP Jobs in New Zealand including Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch plus rural and regional towns and cities.  You’re never far from the coast or the mountains and it’s a fairly easy country to travel round with a great climate.

What qualifications do I need?

To be eligible to work as a GP in New Zealand, you must hold a GP qualification. This can be either from the UK, Ireland or Australia or from one of the comparable countries. If you have this and would like to find out more, please do get in touch with our team to discuss further.

What are NZ General Practices looking for?

Due to the shortage of GPs in New Zealand there are currently over 100 GP jobs in New Zealand. Practices look to the UK or Ireland or from one of the Medical Council of New Zealand’s comparable healthcare countries as the training and skills of GPs are deemed to be similar to those of NZ trained doctors. Aside from this, they’re looking for a great fit into the team. An experienced GP is always in demand however if you’re newly qualified that’s no issue and we don’t need a minimum amount of experience to be able to find you your dream NZ GP job.

What are the next steps?

The first step of the process is to get in touch with our team to find out more. We love to have a chat when suits you to find out more about your personal circumstances and what you are looking for out of the move. Once you’ve decided to go ahead, the first step is to find you your job then allow 3 – 6 months for the medical registration and visa paperwork.

If you have any questions or want to find out more please do get in touch with one of our team!

Further Reading

How to prepare for relocating as a GP

What is life like for GPs in New Zealand

Day in the Life of a UK GP in NZ

MCNZ Registration – Comparable Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is life like in New Zealand for GPs?

What is it like to work as a GP in New Zealand

Before you start your GP job search in New Zealand, you may want to find out more about day to day life in New Zealand.

There are just 4.8 million New Zealanders, scattered across 270,534 sq km: bigger than the UK with one-fourteenth the population. New Zealand is the land of extremes with sublime forests, mountains, lakes, beaches and glaziers. It is relatively easy to travel around with distances between different towns and cities not being too great. Transport networks are well developed with airports throughout the country and well maintained highways.

It is made up of two main islands and numerous smaller ones: the North Island (known as Te Ika-a-Maui in Maori) is the more populous of the two, and is separated by the Cook Strait from the somewhat larger but much less populated South Island (or Te Waipounamu).

New Zealand is consistently rated as a country with one of the highest qualities of life in the world. It offers a safe environment for the whole family offering a great outdoor lifestyle.  New Zealand is an increasing multicultural society that appeals due to its diversity, laid back way of life and temperate climate.

New Zealand People

This former British colony has a population mainly of European descent but with an important indigenous Māori minority of mixed blood, a rapidly growing Asian minority, and smaller minorities of Polynesians, people from the Americas, South Africans and African.

The people of New Zealand are famed for their relaxed and friendly approach. More than one million New Zealanders were born overseas.

New Zealand Climate

New Zealand has mild temperatures, moderate rainfall and many hours of sunshine.
While the far north has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can get as cold as -10°C in winter, most of the country lies close to the coast with milder temperatures.

The average New Zealand temperature decreases as you travel south.  With their summer over January and February, these are the warmest months, and July is the coldest month of the year. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30ºC (70-90°F) and in winter between 10-15ºC (50-60°F).
Most places in New Zealand receive over 2,000 hours of sunshine a year, with the sunniest areas – Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Nelson/Marlborough – receiving over 2,350 hours. As New Zealand observes daylight saving, during summer months daylight can last up until 9.30pm.

Cost of Living as a GP in New Zealand

Cost of living in New Zealand will very much depend on which part of the country you relocate.
One independent international survey ranked Auckland 58th in the world in terms of its cost of living, and Wellington 75th, far better than other major cities. Such cities included Hong Kong (3), Singapore (4), New York (16), London (25), Sydney (26), Melbourne (33) and Guangzhou (31) – showing that comparatively, New Zealand’s major metropolitan areas are more affordable. See our recent blog piece on cost of living for a GP in New Zealand

For an up to date costs of different items please see here 

New Zealand GP Registration Process

The registration process for New Zealand is relatively straightforward and usually takes a month to complete the application with the Medical Council of New Zealand.  To complete the full immigration and registration process you should allow 3 months after we have secured you a position. You will be eligible for registration if you hold a specialist GP certificate (i.e. MRCGP / MICGP / JCPTGP / PMETB).

If you hold your GP qualification from another country then you may be eligible for ‘comparable healthcare.’ registration.  You will be required to hold 3 years of comparable healthcare experience. Please see the MCNZ website for a full list of comparable countries.

All new registrants, regardless of seniority, must work under supervision for the first 6-12 months in New Zealand to become familiar with the culture.  During this time you will be registered within a provisional general scope of practice and performance will be assessed by senior colleagues.

They will be required to complete certain requirements to be registered within a general scope. This will cause minimal impact on your day to day job and you will still be able to see patients independently.

NZ Visa for GPs 

To assist you through the complex immigration process we work with a Licensed Immigration Advisor who is registered with the Immigration Advisers Authority New Zealand. Our Immigration Advisor, Nicola, will expertly assist you and manage your visa process for you and your family.

What does a GP earn in New Zealand?

The minimum hours you are required to work to comply with your visa are 30. Most GPs work 8 sessions per week (32 hours).

Unlike Australia, there are no restrictions on where you can practice as a GP in New Zealand allowing you the option to choose where to live and work; be it in the city centre, by the beach or somewhere more rural.

As a GP moving to New Zealand you will be offered an employed, salary position ($180 – $200k NZD for a full time position). You may perhaps have the option to buy into the practice or take over the practice at a later date.  Work / life balance is excellent in New Zealand, most GPs only see 4 patients per hour allowing more time with patients and less bureaucracy and paperwork.

NZ Tax Rate 

2021 – 2022 Tax Rates

10.5%              $0 to $14,000

17.5%              $14,001 to $48,000

30%                 $48,001 to $70,000

33%                 $70,001 to $180,000

39%                 $180,000 and above

For more detailed up to date tax information please see the tax office website
Income tax calculator

New Zealand Schools and Education

There’s a choice of three types of school in New Zealand – state schools (funded by the government), ‘state integrated’ schools and private schools.

State schools are the choice for the vast majority of New Zealand children (85%). Schooling is free at these schools, although parents are asked for a contribution to help cover costs of activities that are outside of the core curriculum. Typically this will be around NZ$250- $500. There will also be other charges for sports, school trips, special tuition, exam fees, and other course related costs.

‘State integrated’ schools are schools with a special character – they may be run by a particular religious faith e.g. Catholic or use specialist education methods like Steiner or Montessori. Just over 10% of students are enrolled at these schools. Education in state integrated schools is also funded by the government but the schools may charge fees for various facilities which are usually around NZ$1,500 a year.

Just under 5% of children go to private schools which charge around NZ$20,000 in fees a year.
School usually starts at 9am and runs to 3pm or 3:30pm. There are four school terms running from late January to mid-December with two-week breaks between them and a six-week summer break at the end of the year.

New Zealand Accommodation

Most GPs choose to rent a property in New Zealand first and buy later when settled. Housing varies greatly across the country.  Prices tend to be higher in the cities with Auckland being the most expensive and slightly lower on the south island.  For more information on property please see Realestate.co.nz and TradeMe

New Zealand Healthcare System

Primary healthcare, including general practice, out-patient services, and prescriptions, is funded by a combination of public subsidy and private contributions. General Practitioners provide primary, community based, comprehensive and continuing patient-centred care to individuals, families and the community. Many general practices run as private businesses and set their own fees which are paid by the patient.

The cost of a visit will be lower if you’re enrolled with the GP, because the government subsidises the fee. Some general practices join a ‘low cost access’ programme run by their primary health organisation (PHO) which is overseen by the local District Health Board. This means they get extra government funding to keep their fees at low levels.  GPs, Practice Nurses, Māori health providers and other primary healthcare providers work together to meet the health requirements of the local people, with PHOs funded according to the demographics and needs of their population.

Secondary healthcare services, including acute hospital treatment, are free to those who meet the eligibility criteria. New Zealand has a reciprocal agreement with the UK to provide free treatment. There is strong uptake of private health insurance (as in Australia), partially triggered by long waits for state hospital treatment.

Speak to Our GP Recruitment Team

Thinking about relocating to New Zealand? Our experienced GP team are here to help. We can advise on everything from visa queries to questions about the cost of living in New Zealand. Speak to us today to get started on your move down under or browse some of our excellent GP jobs New Zealand.

Further Reading
8 Benefits of Moving to New Zealand
Is there an age limit for GPs
The Cost of Living as a Doctor in New Zealand

Useful Links
Medical Council of New Zealand
Immigration New Zealand 

Education

UK Healthcare System compared to the Australia / NZ

For GPs relocating from the UK to Australia or New Zealand, you will have questions on the differences between the two health care systems. We have outlined how the health care system works in Australia and New Zealand.

Australia GP Healthcare System

Medicare is Australia’s universal health care and insurance programme. It guarantees Australian citizens access to a wide range of GP and hospital services at no or low cost.

Australia’s Medicare system is funded by the local taxpayers. Medicare is open to Australia citizens and permanent residents and those from a Reciprocal country. Once you enrol in Medicare you are issued with a Medicare card which allows you to access medical services, hospital treatment and prescription medicines.

The Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) lists the medical services covered by Medicare either in full or partially covered. The Pharmaceutical Benefits System (PBS) reduces the cost of medication to patients. As Medicare doesn’t cover all Medicare services, many patients choose to take out private healthcare insurance.

Private vs Bulk GP Billing

Patients in a GP practice are either bulk or privately billed. Bulk billing is where the total fee is charged to Medicare with no cost to the patient. A bulk billing GP consultation will be billed with an item number which will correspond to the scheduled fee. This is what you as a GP can claim for the consultation. Private billing is where the patient is charged but the partial fee can be claimed from Medicare with a ‘gap fee’ paid by the patient. Private billing consultations are set by the practice or the individual doctor.

This will affect how you are paid working as. GP in Australia.  You will receive a percentage of billings (between 60 – 70%) Your income will be very good however dependant on the number of patients you see and the complexity of those patients.

New Zealand Health System

The Public Health system in New Zealand is funded by taxpayers. Essential health care is free for all NZ residents and those with a visa for 2 years and longer. As a UK GP there is a reciprocal agreement between the two countries to access some healthcare services.

There are 3 key sectors in New Zealand; District Health Boards, Primary Health care and Health organisations. DHBs are government funded and are responsible generally for secondary health, PHOs assist with primary health services including general practice and community health services. There is also Accident and Compensation Corporation (ACC) which is a government run personal injury scheme which helps to pay for medical and treatment fees which are caused by an accident.

General Practice in New Zealand

General practice in New Zealand are privately run and set their own fees for consultations. The fees must remain within a threshold agreed by the DHBs and PHOs and the level of co-payment is determined by the practice. The cost of the visit will be lower if you’re enrolled as the NZ government subsidises the fee for enrolled patients. Some practices join a Very Low Cost Access (VLCA) programme run by the local PHO. This means they can keep their fees low due to extra funding.

Working as a GP in New Zealand

As a GP working in New Zealand you will initially be on an employment contract paid a salaried rate. This will come with additional benefits such as paid leave, sick leave and sometimes relocation assistance and paid medical practising fees and insurance. We find that our GPs settle in well into life in New Zealand, and enjoy that enviable work / life balance in an enjoyable patient setting.

For more information on living and working as a GP in Australia or New Zealand please do get in touch. 

Further Reading

Residence Visas New Zealand

Australian GP Salary Calculator

How to prepare for moving as a GP

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What is life like working as a GP in NZ today? We catch up with a UK GP couple who moved to Wellington

We’re really delighted to hear how a GP couple we helped relocate to New Zealand are getting on. Dan and Hannah first got in touch with us in August 2020. Emma spent time getting to know them before securing them a post just outside Wellington which they started in June this year.

They’ve kindly taken the time to outline what life is like for them as GPs in New Zealand which we hope you find helpful in your decision making. If you want to find out more about moving to New Zealand as a GP please do get in touch with Emma here

What made you decide to move to New Zealand?

We had always considered working abroad as we love travelling and had wanted to explore on a more permanent basis. We both chose general practice as a career as we felt it would allow us to travel and work abroad more quickly than some other specialist training programs, as well as the fact that it is a varied and flexible job. We had visited New Zealand and absolutely loved the people, the lifestyle and the landscape.

Tell us about a typical day in your GP role?

COVID taking off in New Zealand has slightly changed the structure of our workday (from when we started) but it is still mostly face to face appointments of minimum 15mins. Patients are encouraged to book double appointments if they have complex problems. For the most part there is allocated time for paperwork and we always have a lunch break – this even includes leaving the building for a brief walk.

We do have a reasonable input to the inner workings of the practice and have regular clinician meetings to discuss cases or whether we feel anything could be done differently.

Best Bit about your day?

Dan – Having a lunch break and finishing on time most days

Hannah – finishing on time is an absolute luxury. Also having recognised time to fill out paperwork and do scripts.

Most challenging part of your day?

Dan – Still coming to terms with certain ways the health system in New Zealand works.

Hannah – there are some differences compared to the UK in that we manage more maternity care and GUM here. It has definitely pushed me into doing some new things which we didn’t have much exposure to back home.

How do you find the culture and lifestyle compared to the UK?

Dan – We loved our lives in the UK but work was heavy in terms of volume and it was sometimes difficult to switch off. Here I find I can spend my time off not worrying about work (as it’s more manageable) which means it’s much more quality time. We moved to an area where there is plenty to do outside, we are next to forest and hills, 25mins drive to the beach and Wellington. Everyone when we moved was willing to help out and people are friendly to each other.

Hannah – New Zealand has a very relaxed lifestyle and attitude to life. Places are generally much quieter with less queues and traffic which is a welcomed change. The Wellington surroundings are beautiful and the area is so accessible to the rest of New Zealand, allowing us to reach forest, beach, mountains and city in a short drive. There is so much to do here which does make down time so much more interesting.

 

How have you and your family settled in and would you have any tips for other GPs relocating?

It helps that we are both doing the same job so the transition has been straightforward for both work and general life. There are a few things that are different in New Zealand – renting is mostly all through private landlords and there is a lot of competition for property. Housing is variable based on this and it can feel like it takes a while to find the right place. We stayed in an Air BnB for 1 month whilst we decided what areas were right for us.

Our shipping still hasn’t arrived and it’s nearly 6 months on from when it was picked up from our house in the UK. If you are bringing furniture/household items definitely arrange this early and think hard about what you would really like to have in those first few months.

How have you found the transition from general practice in the UK to New Zealand?

Dan – So much easier than expected. The medicine is similar to a few more things being managed in primary care than in the UK and others we are used to but now have very little involvement in. This will change depending on where you end up working as well and the local secondary services available.

Hannah – I am surprised by the ease at which we have both managed to transition. Having only been a GP for 1 year prior to coming to NZ, I did have some worries about this, however we have been lucky enough to find a very supportive practice with a diverse group of colleagues with varying skills. On the occasions where I have picked up the phone to the hospital, I have been greeted with friendly clinicians who have always offered helpful advice.

It is more common for referrals to get rejected in New Zealand as the public system does have a very stringent budget with strict criteria. This can impact a little on the way you practice at times.

Finally, how have you found Transition Medical in helping you make the move to NZ?

From our first contact with Emma we wouldn’t have explored any other companies helping with emigration. Even when it was just an idea she took the time to listen and address any concerns. There was never any pressure. If anything I think it was harder because we had so much choice and didn’t feel an affiliation to any particular part of New Zealand. Once we had narrowed this down the job interviews and applications were easily facilitated by Emma and Kirsty and our immigration advisor. There is a lot of information to get through but it was made as easy as possible by the team. We couldn’t recommend them highly enough.

Further Reading- click on the headings below in blue to read the full blog. 

Is there an age limit for GPs?

Top Tips for GP’s relocating to NZ

How are you supported into practice?

What next?

If you are interested in relocating to New Zealand and would like to find out more please get in touch with one of our specialist GP recruitment team.