New Zealand doctor immigration

Foreign doctor NZ

Medrecruit is a leading medical recruitment agency, and we work with doctors from all over the world to achieve their career or lifestyle goals and make the move to New Zealand.

In this article, we'll answer commonly asked questions so you can find out everything you need to know about making the move to New Zealand as a doctor. We hope that this will help you make an informed decision and when you are ready to make the move, we have an in-house immigration advisor who can help set you up for a successful relocation.

Can doctors migrate to New Zealand?

The answer is a big Yes! As a foreign doctor working in New Zealand, your pathway to medical registration will depend on your individual circumstances, such as where you completed your primary medical degree, the countries in which you have clinical experience, and if you’re a specialist or junior doctor.

To practice in New Zealand, you must be registered with MCNZ. For IMGs, this is achievable via a number of pathways (or routes), your eligibility for which is determined by your clinical background.

If you obtained your medical degree in the UK or Ireland, your pathway will be the easiest. If you are interested in making the move get in touch, and one of our dedicated IMG Solution Specialists will be in touch to answer any of your questions. Many of our staff migrated from the UK themselves, so they have insider knowledge of the transition.

Are doctors in demand in New Zealand?

If you are wondering whether New Zealand is looking for doctors, the answer is: yes! All healthcare professionals are in demand in New Zealand. Some high-demand specialties include Emergency Medicine, General Medicine, ICU, Psychiatry, and GP.

GPs are particularly in demand, and we have multiple opportunities in some of the most sought-after holiday locations.

New Zealand is looking for healthcare workers of all specialties and you may be eligible for visa priority.

If you are a foreign doctor looking for work in New Zealand, we have an in-house immigration advisor who can chat with you about the right medical pathway, what positions we have available, and all the logistics of making your move.

How can a foreigner become a doctor in New Zealand?

To become a doctor in New Zealand, you must be registered with MCNZ. For IMGs, this is achievable via several pathways (or routes), your eligibility for which is determined by your clinical background.

Our Medrecruit Solution Specialists can help you with this process, so please register with us below if you would like more information. Or you can read this article on pathways which covers everything you need to know.

How much do New Zealand doctors get paid?

In New Zealand, doctors' salaries vary widely depending on their role, experience, and the type of practice or specialty they are involved in. Generally, doctors' remuneration in New Zealand is competitive, reflecting the skill, responsibility, and importance of their work in the healthcare system.

Junior doctors, or Resident Medical Officers (RMOs), who are in the early stages of their postgraduate training, typically earn between NZD $70,000 and NZD $120,000 per year. This range varies based on their year of work and the hours they put in, including any additional on-call duties.

Registrars, who are doctors undergoing specialised training, can expect to earn between NZD $95,000 and $180,000 annually. Again, this depends on their experience, years they’ve been in the system and specialty areas.

Consultants or Specialists who have completed their training and are fully qualified in a particular area of medicine can earn anywhere from NZD $150,000 to over NZD $300,000 per year. Highly experienced specialists or those in more lucrative specialties can earn significantly more, and those in private practice could earn NZD $600,000 or more.

It’s also worth noting that many medical roles in New Zealand offer additional benefits such as professional development opportunities, allowances for on-call work, and employer contributions to retirement savings, which can add substantial value to the overall remuneration package.

Overall, while the pay scales for doctors in New Zealand are subject to various factors, the medical profession is generally well-compensated, reflecting the high level of expertise and dedication required in this field.

Is New Zealand a good country for doctors?

New Zealand is rated as one of the top ten countries to live in the world. It is known for its outdoor and adventure-packed lifestyle and provides a great work/life balance. We have helped many doctors make a move, and the beautiful scenery and outdoor activities are common standouts.

Not only is New Zealand home of Lord of the Rings, and other famous box-office hits, it is a great place to start or raise a family. We have an affordable, quality schooling system, and New Zealand offers a great sense of community. Here are some of the reasons doctors are choosing to migrate to New Zealand:

Robust healthcare system: New Zealand's healthcare system is a mix of public and private services, providing comprehensive care to its population. It is well-funded and equipped with modern facilities, ensuring that doctors have access to the resources they need to provide quality care. The system is also known for its innovative approaches to healthcare challenges, offering an exciting environment for doctors who wish to be at the forefront of medical practice and research.

Diverse opportunities and career growth: Whether in bustling urban centers or in rural settings, New Zealand offers a range of opportunities for doctors across various specialties. There is a particular demand for general practitioners in rural areas, providing an opportunity for doctors to make a significant impact in these communities. For specialists, the country's hospitals offer challenging and rewarding roles. Continuous professional development is highly encouraged and supported, aiding doctors in their career progression.

Work-life balance: One of the most appealing aspects of working in New Zealand is the emphasis on work-life balance. The medical profession is respected and well-compensated, but it also allows time for personal pursuits and family. New Zealand’s stunning landscapes, from beaches to mountains, encourage an outdoor lifestyle, offering a plethora of activities for relaxation and adventure outside work hours.

Cultural richness: Practicing medicine in New Zealand also brings the opportunity to work in a culturally diverse environment. The country’s healthcare system places a high importance on cultural competence, especially in providing care for the indigenous Māori population and other ethnic groups, enriching the professional and personal experiences of doctors.

How to get started

Relocating overseas to pursue a medical career is a significant undertaking, and the backing of a medical recruitment agency can be helpful. Medrecruit features a specialised IMG team comprised of individuals who've personally navigated moving to New Zealand, ready to provide authentic advice on transitioning to life "Down Under." What's more, our service is completely free for doctors. To find out more about working as an IMG in New Zealand, register, and one of our IMG team will be in touch to discuss opportunities and set you up for a successful relocation.

IMGs in New Zealand are in high demand, especially if you are an IMG GP! With a large and diverse healthcare sector offering numerous opportunities for professional growth and development. Whether you're looking for a metropolitan lifestyle or a peaceful rural existence, New Zealand has something to offer every IMG.

Find out everything you need to know about moving to Australia or New Zealand in our free IMG Guide.
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Medrecruit Editorial Team
18 January 2024Article by Medrecruit Editorial TeamMedrecruit Editor