New Zealand: Where Are We Going?

  • Stephen Streat


New Zealand is a small remote country with 4.4 million increasingly ethnically diverse inhabitants. There is a well-entrenched tradition of publicly funded social services including healthcare, education and welfare. Public expectations of the capabilities of the welfare state have become tempered in recent years by the legacy of the free-market reforms which began in the late 1980s and by the almost-stagnant economy which has yet to recover from the 2008 global recession. Per capita GDP at purchasing power parity is just over half that of the US. Health expenditure [1] is around 75 % of that in Australia, Canada and most of western Europe but only a third of US health expenditure. Publicly funded healthcare occupies a dominant position in health care with 81 % of expenditure being Government-funded [2]. Intensive care medicine (as it is known in New Zealand) is almost completely confined to the 25 ICUs in public hospitals [3]. Most of these are multi-disciplinary ICUs—only one is a speciality ICU (cardiovascular) and there is only one paediatric ICU. There are small intensive care units confined to post-surgical (mostly cardiac) patients in three private hospitals.


Traumatic Brain Injury Health Expenditure Intensive Care Medicine Intensive Care Admission Bicycle Helmet 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Critical Care MedicineAuckland City HospitalAucklandNew Zealand

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