In an attempt to keep things interesting and give me a broader perspective of life here in New Zealand, my body decided to give itself a bacterial infection. In my foot. No idea how, but within a few hours it looked like a red and angry balloon.
Cue my attempt to access New Zealand healthcare having done absolutely no research into this (given my rapid departure over here). I have to say, luckily for me and my foot, the whole process has been remarkably simple. Not to mention cost effective.
First stop: Pharmacy. Amazing (my sister is a pharmacist so I already knew how great they were, but nice to see that it is universal). She gave me a free antihistamine to prevent me from cutting my own foot off to stop the burning, confirmed it definitely needed medical attention and gave me directions to the walk in centre where I would get it seen the quickest.
Second Stop: Medical Centre. Again, excellent service. Put me on IV antibiotics straight away and then arranged a follow up for the next day. All for the sum of NZ$77 (around £40, or US$65).
Third Stop: back to the pharmacy again to fill my prescription for a week of oral antibiotics. Prescriptions here seem a bit more expensive than back home, at around NZ$23. But if it stops my foot falling off, then great.
So, overall, the entire cost of getting my infection under control came to NZ$100. If I have any US followers, I would imagine they simply can’t get their heads around being able to rock up unregistered and get that level of treatment (not using any insurance cover here either) for that price. All done with amazingly friendliness and grace too, which is always priceless.
A giant thumbs up then to the New Zealand Health Service (but thumbs down to its native bacteria which tried to kill me).