How I went to GP in New Zealand

Apparently you have to think twice before going to visit GP in New Zealand. Fist of all, you’ll waste your time, most likely. Secondly, you as a resident will pay $18.5 (and even more) for a visit and finally go home with a subscription for panadol or antibiotic. In the best case scenario, if your GP is responsible, they will send you to pass medical tests and then will review results and say: “Well, everything seems OK here. Let’s say if the problem wont dissappear in three month, you will come and see me again?”

I don’t know (actually, I know but I’ll tell you later) how lucky you have to be in order to get specialist’s appointment in New Zealand at the first GP visit. I guess, the stars should align special way or your should GP have his last working day before leaving his job, so he or she refers you to the specialist. Just because he was in a good state of mood. That was a real case, by the way. If you haven’t noticed, in this blog, I talk about real cases only!

When I arrived in New Zealand, I was told a lot of stories and been given a few examples showing that it’s always better to go to hospital instead of visiting GP. However, after few years I have almost forgotten that advice and went to a GP. Thanks to my genes, I have a good health and do not have any health issues so far. Well, at least, I don’t have to complain about it. I don’t suffer at all from small issues like flue and other viruses which affect 95% of my colleagues. Sometimes it happens, but very seldom. May be once in 3-4 years. So, I don’t visit GP in New Zealand. Well, I have to say I haven’t visited GP in New Zealand until one day. And as result, I step on the rake.

It wasn’t hard to make an appointment with GP in clinic I have been registered with for almost 3 years. I made a call Monday and they booked the appointment on Wednesday, which was quite good. I came to the clinic, waited for 10 minutes roughly and then was invited by a GP. Then I described a problem I have been experiencing for a few months. I listed all symptomps and described everything in detail. GP was sitting in front of PC, typing my story and didn’t make an examination. At the end, she said she would give me anti-allergen drops prescription and invite me for next appointment in three month, if I don’t feel better. Is that all? That is all 🙂

I have a feeling that you have to have severe pain and high temperature in order to get specialist’s appointment in New Zealand. Which could finally have a look at your problem and sort it out? The thing is, in that particular case, my GP wasn’t interested to find out the source of the problem I had. Hmm, you can’t breathe? Seems like you’ve got an allergy. Here is some anti-allergen drops prescription for you!

No one visits a GP just because he or she gets bored – you still have to pay for it! However, the system works that way that GP have to cut off patients. There are a way too many patients and not enough specialists, so they have to be protected. What are we having as result? We have hospitals, full of people who can’t afford to pay GP’s fee or don’t visit a GP because they understand this is useless. We have people, who are going to hospitals with a minor issues, like flue, only because it is free of charge.

Feel free to share your own experience visiting GP in New Zealand by posting a comment below. I’d love to read your own story!

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Ivan Grigoryev's Blog
Living in New Zealand. Blogging about the country, beautiful places, everyday life.
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