During our trip, we’ve had the opportunity to test various medical systems for non-emergency issues in Turkey, Sweden, Iceland, Costa Rica, and here in New Zealand. In our experience thus far, medical care has been more affordable and personable pretty much everywhere compared to the USA.
Most recently, we took Theo to the doctor in New Zealand. In addition to checking our primary concern, the doctor (unprompted) took the time to give him an overall check up and then answered some questions I had about a second issue. Overall, we spent about 15 minutes with her. Our total bill, with no deductions for insurance or similar, was about 28 USD (plus another 3 USD for a prescription.) If we were New Zealand residents and enrolled as patients at this clinic, we would have paid nothing for the visit since Theo is under 13.
I can’t help but compare this to the 380 USD I was once billed for less than five minutes with a physician’s assistant back in the USA. No system is perfect, and our knowledge is mostly limited to our experiences with non-emergency care. Still, we’ve not yet experienced anything approaching the craziness of typical USA medical costs.