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The health sector

Wellington is the home of the Ministry of Health, a number of private and public hospitals, as well as colleges and clinical bodies representing the medical profession.

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Our healthcare system

New Zealand has a public and private healthcare system, with both offering high quality care. With a wide-ranging healthcare system comes an abundance of opportunities for healthcare professionals covering many disciplines and specialties.

New Zealand contributes 10% of its GDP into healthcare, slightly higher than the OECD average.

Wellington has a number of private and public hospitals as well as several colleges and clinical bodies that represent the medical professions.

The health sector is the third largest employer and the sixth largest contributor to GDP in Wellington. Being part of the Government hub alongside the Ministry of Health is also a big plus for the healthcare sector in Wellington.

Our District Health Boards (DHB)

Health in Wellington is managed by three district health boards (DHB). They are responsible for making sure that the health and disability services in their district are delivered through hospitals and a wide range of specialist and community-based services. The Capital & Coast DHB is the largest in the Wellington region and operates three hospitals:

The second largest is Hutt Valley DHB which operates Hutt Hospital, followed by the Wairarapa DHB (Wairarapa Hospital).

Private hospitals in the Wellington region

There are also four private hospitals, which operate independently and offer health and surgical services: 

District Health Boards also fund the primary health organisations (PHO), which provide primary health care services through general practices.      

Health research

Institutions such as the Malaghan Institute, and the University of Otago Wellington Medical School specialise in medical research here.

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Opportunities in the health sector

The health sector is experiencing strong growth, and there are a range of opportunities available with doctors, midwives, surgeons and 29 other healthcare occupations in demand in New Zealand.

The Government considers these roles ‘Essential’, making it easier to meet the immigration requirements to gain a visa if applicants have these skills.

Applicants may also be able to apply for residency to enable them to stay indefinitely and access state-funded public services.

To meet the OECD average by 2021, New Zealand will need an estimated 380 extra specialists every year, as well as up to 25,000 more nurses by 2030 (New Zealand Now, 2015).

The workforce in New Zealand’s health sector is incredibly diverse, with overseas-trained professionals accounting for 41.5 percent of the sector’s workforce, and over 52% of the 21,000 doctors on the New Zealand Medical Register receiving their primary qualification overseas (New Zealand Now, 2015). 

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