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New Zealand Medical System – Private Insurance FAIL

Earl Stevens, 08 Feb 2017

Earl’s Revised Right Hip – Zimmer Ceramic on Ceramic –  done Sept 2011; Removed S&N Birmingham Spectrum THR (MoM)

As many may know, I moved back to New Zealand from Australia, April last year.

In Australia I had full private medical cover, which covered my hip revision and next replacement. Sure it cost about $200 a fortnight, but it was worth it. Unfortunately I had to give this up on leaving Australia. There, after one year waiting, they cover pre-existing conditions.
In NZ only one Private Health Insurance firm seems to cover pre-existing conditions – I have a hip replacement, I need another, therefore pre-existing… – BUT at an exorbitant rate, and only, maybe, after 3 years (someone please tell me I am wrong).
So I have to go through the public system:
  • wait two months for an x-ray.
  • wait another two months to be put into the system.
  • advised I will have to wait up to 4 months for the first specialist appointment…
  • = 8 months… unless I have a major problem, then see my GP for a review of the referral time…
Nice to be in the system… but you have to say NZ private medical insurance is dreadful – you can’t get it if you need it… and I would be happy to pay for it, but they won’t give me anything useful for my money…  and the public system tries but is overworked and underfunded….
Sad state of affairs… BUT grateful I am in the “system”, however long it may take…