Services for Pacific Island people

Information on the eligibility of those living in the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu, Tonga and other Pacific islands for publicly funded health services in New Zealand.

Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau

New Zealand citizens living in the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau who visit New Zealand on a temporary basis are fully eligible for publicly funded services in NZ. They may have to wait for some services, and they must pay the part-charges that other New Zealanders must pay.

For citizens still living in the Cook Islands and Niue, Counties Manukau DHB has an NZAID-funded contract to manage requests for health assistance. This may be delivered in-country or transport assistance may be offered to bring people to New Zealand for services.

For citizens still living in Tokelau, requests for health assistance are managed by Capital and Coast DHB.

Residents of the Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau who are not citizens of these Pacific countries are not eligible for publicly funded health and disability services in New Zealand unless they meet other eligibility criteria. Use the Guide to eligibility for public health services to assess eligibility.

Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga

Except for the schemes funded by NZAID, and discussed below, residents of Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga must meet the eligibility criteria in the same way as any other foreign national in New Zealand in order to access publicly funded health and disability services. Use the Guide to eligibility for public health services to assess eligibility.

For citizens of Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga, NZAID funds two schemes: a Visiting Medical Specialists Scheme and a Medical Treatment Scheme. The schemes have two objectives – to deliver necessary services and, by delivering services locally wherever possible, to provide health support in a way that can help to strengthen local health services and grow local skills and capacity.

The Visiting Medical Specialists scheme funds specialists to travel to the Pacific Islands. The specialists provide services locally, assist in Pacific staff professional development and in strengthening local services.

The Medical Treatment Scheme (MTS) funds residents of these Pacific countries to travel to New Zealand for treatment. The MTS is accessible (within funds available to each country) to people who meet the equity and medical criteria regardless of age, ethnicity, gender or location. Individuals referred are citizens of the referring country and lack access to alternative means of accessing the necessary treatment.

A Medical Treatment Committee in the country will consider the medical practitioner’s referral. The Scheme generally does not accept patients who are in New Zealand. It also does not accept patients whose treatment has commenced prior to approval. Some chronic conditions or conditions requiring ongoing treatment are not covered, and a prognosis of a healthy life for at least five years following treatment is required.

Citizens of other Pacific countries

Non-New Zealand citizens, including citizens of other Pacific countries, who are living in New Zealand, must meet one of the Eligibility Criteria in order to access publicly funded health and disability services. Use the Guide to eligibility for public health services to assess eligibility.

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