NZ Health System
Most New Zealanders are enrolled with GPs who are part of a Primary Health Organisation (PHO). Being enrolled to a PHO means you will receive the subsidies you are entitled to and pay less for your GP visits. If you are not sure that you are enrolled, you can check with your doctor. The enrollment may take up to 3 months to be processed, therefore, it pays to fill the Enrollment Form at your GP's practice earlier before your next GP visit. More information can be found on this website.
While services provided by the hospitals are usually funded, specialists and dentists often belong to the private sector and payment of full fees are required.
Most medicines are subsidised for patients in New Zealand. Pharmac, a government organisation, specifies which medicines will be subsidised and at what level (these medicines are listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule).
For GP prescriptions, adult New Zealanders usually pay $5 per item for fully subsidised medicines from a community pharmacy and $15 per item if prescribed by a specialist. Prescription medicines for children under thirteen years are free if fully funded. Please refer to the bottom of this page for more information about prescription charges.
New Zealand citizens, PR or holders of Work Permit for more than 2 consecutive years are eligible for public funded services. To check your eligibility, go to this website: Guide to eligibility for publicly funded health services.
For visitors and international students, following website provides comprehensive information about NZ health systems: Introduction to the New Zealand health system for International Students.
While many medicines are fully funded in NZ, for some medicines you may need to pay an extra part-charge if they are partially funded.Some are not subsidised at all (NS= Non subsidised), and must be fully paid for. Your doctor and pharmacist can tell you if a drug has an extra charge or is not subsidised. Non-prescription (OTC = over-the-counter) medicines must be paid for in full.
For some medicines to be funded, a Special Authority is applied for by your doctor (Specialist or GP) according to the criteria for the particular medicine. More information about Special Authority and other frequently asked questions about medicine subsidies can be found on this website.
People who live in households with low incomes or which have high healthcare needs can apply for a Community Services Card (CSC). CSC allows adults and older children to pay a lesser charge per item for specialist prescriptions. There is more information on the CSC below. See next section for more details.
Health Subsidy Cards
- A Prescription Subsidy Card (PSC) or Exemption Card allows a family of a couple and their children under 18 to pay lower prescription charges. People can have a PSC once the family has had 20 new prescribed items in one year (1 February–31 January), not counting prescriptions that are free. Your pharmacy will keep count of your prescriptions. Apply through your pharmacy. (Helpful Tips: if you or other family members have been visiting different pharmacies, you may retain all the Prescription Fees receipts and show them to one pharmacy to keep a record of the total prescription count in that pharmacy's system. The family will then obtain their Prescription Subsidy Card sooner).
- A Community Services Card (CSC) may lower the cost of GP visits (depends on the GP practice) and Specialist prescription charges (e.g for funded items: $15 may be reduced to $5). Any family whose income before tax is less than the amount set by the Ministry of Health and who ordinarily lives in New Zealand can have a CSC. You can get a CSC through the Ministry of Social Development – phone 0800 999 999 or apply on the Work and Income website. When a person has a CSC and a Prescription Subsidy Card, there is no charge.
- The SuperGold Card is for New Zealand residents aged 65 or over, or people who qualify for a NZ Super or a Veteran’s Pension. The card replaces the Super Card and CSC and will note CSC entitlement on it for people who are eligible. See the SuperGold Card website for more information.
|Subsidised Medicine||GP||Hospital||Specialist (no CSC)||Specialist (with CSC)|
|Child under 13||Free||Free||Free||Free|
|Work Permit (2yrs)||$5||$5||$15||N/A|
NS: No Subsidy = Full Charge
Above chart is only for subsidised medicines. For non subsidised medicines, costs may vary between different pharmacies.
While some pharmacies may also charge following fees: Fax Management Fee, After Hour Fee, at Eden Park Pharmacy we do not charge such fees.