Hospitals and practices across the country are looking for doctors, midwifes, surgeons and 29 other healthcare occupations.
In fact, these skills are rated by the Government as ‘Essential’ which will make it easier for you meet the immigration requirements.
Healthworkers needed now
It’s estimated we need 380 extra specialists every year to meet the OECD average by 2021. And we’ll need up to 25,000 more nurses by 2030.
With that sort of demand, there are plenty of opportunities. Check out the current healthworker opportunities on the skills shortages lists.
Remember – if your job is on either of the lists and you have the qualifications and experience to match, the work visa application process is more likely to be successful. And you may even be able to apply for a resident visa.
There are various types of visas that you may be eligible to apply for. Work visas are for a temporary stay in New Zealand, but some can lead to residence. Resident visas, such as the Skilled Migrant Category, allow you to stay indefinitely and enjoy more of our state-funded public services.
Healthcare in New Zealand
New Zealand has both a public and private healthcare system. Each offers high standards of care.
Being such a wide-ranging healthcare system you’ll find there’s an equally wide range of work opportunities for healthcare professionals covering every discipline or specialty.
In the public system, essential healthcare services such as emergency care, essential surgery, and hospital care are provided free for all New Zealand residents and those living here on a work visa valid for two years or longer. Visits to general practitioners (family doctors) are paid for by the individual patient.
Alongside the public system, private healthcare offers access to private hospitals for the treatment of both urgent and non-urgent conditions (excluding Accident and Emergency Care). The network of private hospitals and clinics provides a range of services that include recuperative care, elective procedures and a range of general surgical procedures. There are also private radiology clinics and testing laboratories.
New Zealand puts about 10% of its GDP into healthcare, a little more than the OECD average.
An international workforce
You won't feel out of place working in a New Zealand hospital or medical practice. That's because overseas-trained professionals account for 41.5 percent of our total healthcare workforce, according to a Medical Council survey. And of the 21,000 doctors on the New Zealand Medical Register in 2012, over 52% received their primary qualification outside New Zealand.
The first step is finding a job. Research where your skills will best fit and which employers are looking for your expertise. And make sure that your qualifications are recognised in New Zealand.
At the same time you should register with the relevant medical body eg. the Medical Council of New Zealand for doctors, or the Nursing Council of New Zealand for nurses.
The website Kiwi Health Jobs lists job vacancies available at the District Health Boards (DHBs) around the country.
For more information about the public health system in New Zealand visit the Ministry of Health.
For more information about New Zealand’s unique scheme for covering the medical costs of people injured in accidents, visit the Accident Compensation Corporation.