Eligibility Direction

The Eligibility Direction describes the groups of people who are eligible for publicly funded (ie, free or subsidised) health and disability services in New Zealand.

You must meet one of the criteria in the Eligibility Direction to be considered for these publicly funded services. If you are not eligible, you are liable to be charged for the full costs of any medical treatment or disability support service you receive during your visit.

The Health and Disability Services Eligibility Direction 2011 (PDF, 58 KB) (the direction) sets out the groups of people eligible for publicly funded health and disability services in New Zealand.

It is a direction made by the Minister of Health under section 32 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Services Act 2000. The direction became effective on 16 April 2011, and applies from that date forward.

To see whether you meet the specified eligibility criteria go to the Guide to eligibility for public health services.

Comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended for all people who are not eligible for publicly funded health and disability services. Please note: the Reciprocal Health Agreements with Australia and the UK only cover health services that are required promptly and do not remove the need for medical/travel insurance.

Establishing eligibility prior to 15 April 2011

People must meet the eligibility criteria at the time they receive services. If you are questioning whether you or someone else was eligible prior to 15 April 2011, you will need to check the criteria in the 2003 Eligibility Direction (PDF, 20 KB).

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