GP vs After-Hours Clinic vs Hospital

Posted by OrbitProtect Team el 14 August 2020

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Good on you for securing yourself with an OrbitProtect policy! What now? How and when do you use it? Where do you go? Do you need approval to see a doctor? Does the doctor need to be affiliated with OrbitProtect? We know it is daunting enough to be in a foreign country, more so if you end up sick or injured in one.

The starting point for any matter in New Zealand is a GP (General Practitioner), also known as a family doctor or general physician. If and when you need to see one, you are encouraged to register or enrol with the medical centre you are at. Even if you are a non-NZ resident, you are welcome to enlist yourself with any GP. Consultation fees vary so, choose your GP wisely. At OrbitProtect, we do not have a list of accredited medical providers. You can visit any GP at a medical centre at any location, at your convenience. Google medical centres in the town/city you are in. Just keep in mind that you must always minimise your costs if you can (reasonable doctor fees are from $65 - $100).   

You will be pleased to know that medical centres not only provide treatment when you need them to. They also aim to proactively support your health and well being by providing health education, counselling, disease prevention and screening. Some services include smoking cessation, flu vaccinations, regular cervical/pap smears, and breast screening. These are not free for non-NZ residents nor are they covered under your OrbitProtect policy but if you can afford to, you are welcome to avail these services at your own expense. If you require specialist input, your GP will refer you accordingly.

Majority of medical centres operate during the day on weekdays. Outside these hours, you can be seen at an after-hours GP service. If you have life-threatening symptoms, you can go to the Emergency Department of the public hospital you are located in. If there is a major situation requiring an ambulance, you would be taken to a public hospital for comprehensive care that is not available from a private medical practice.

You will also find that there are not that many private hospitals in New Zealand. They tend to be for non-urgent medical matters and matters that can wait. If your immigration visa entitles you to free government medical care, then our insurance would require you to use the free option.  If you are not entitled to free government medical care and the matter is not urgent, then private care would likely be an option and we may be able to help (within policy limitations).

It is best to make a claim after visiting the doctor with all the receipts and information you have, including the discussion notes from the doctor. Visit our claim tips for instructions on how to make a claim: https://orbitprotect.com/claim-faq/. No guarantee can be made until your claim is assessed. If we approve your claim, you will be reimbursed through your bank account, or the hospital will be paid directly, less any applicable excess. To find out what an excess is, feel free to read our other blog entry: https://orbitprotect.com/blog/what-is-an-insurance-excess/.

Irrespective of insurance, if you think you should see a doctor, that is what you should do. You do not need our authorisation. Do not go to a hospital unless it is a very urgent matter.

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22/09/2020
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