Practical Barriers to Healthcare Provisions in New Zealand

5. Write a comparative analysis about the practical barriers that exist in the healthcare provisions in New Zealand and in those of one overseas country of your choice through using the following determinants:

a. Safety issue

New Zealand

According to the organization of GNS Science, as faults lines are running under New Zealand, more than 15,000 earthquakes happened per annum. Therefore, New Zealand is threatened by the risk of several magnitude 6 earthquakes once a year, which might cause a lot of damages to inhabited areas. J.K. Mclntosh et al (2012), reported the 22


February 2011, Mw 6.3 Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand caused major damage to not only infrastructures, but also to the healthcare system of Canterbury region. It is often said that big natural disasters will bring confusions and disorganizes to healthcare system, for example, damaging to facilities, shutting down of lifeline, running of medicine, shortage of human power, and increasing of patients, consequently, it is one of the major safety issue in New Zealand.


According to the website of Indian Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, the lack of amenities, in particular, sanitation is a major public health issue in India. Inadequate sanitation system causes public health issue, for example, diarrhoeas and respiratory infections. Additionally, a person whose immune system is weak is easily to be infected by these diseases, and areas where are not urbanised are more lacking of infrastructures. Generally, once they are in sick, they tend to be in critical conditions, and take long time to be recovered. In India, some inhabitants suffer from unavoidable disease, because of lacking of sanitary conditions.

b. Geographical barriers

New Zealand

In New Zealand, some regions, such as the Far North District and Southland District, a variety numbers of inhabitants need more than 30 minutes to visit GP. Therefore, it is possible to say that some remote rural areas have a difficulty to access to GP due to geographical isolation. This barrier is revealed to The New Zealand Health Survey, which is conducted by the Ministry of Health in 2011/12. According to this survey, 3.4% of New Zealanders did not visit GP, because of lacking of transportation, consequently, the distance to GP prevents from visiting GP. Furthermore, some people would visit GP after symptoms and the stage of illness become worse, and as a result, some of them might not be received effective treatments.


Looking at geographical feature of India, the safety of India is threatened by new clear weapons, which Pakistan and China posse, and to make the matter worse, the relationship between India and Pakistan is intense. Moreover, India has 19 nuclear plants, so it obtains a highly risk of nuclear power both inside and outside of country. Therefore, if there will be an explosion of nuclear weapons at outside of country or some damages to nuclear plats will occur accidentally in India, the land will be contaminated. Furthermore, not only inhabitants, but also healthcare providers will be exposed to radiation. When these situations will happen in the future, hospitals will be the frontline of treatment, and it will affect huge impact to provision of healthcare in India.

c. Cultural barriers

New Zealand

According to the website of Ministry of Social Development, the ethnic diversity of New Zealand’s population will continue to increase, and, in particular Asian population is projected to have the largest growth, averaging 3.4 %, annually. Therefore, the number of people whose first language is not English is increasing in New Zealand. For non-English speakers, language is the biggest barrier to communicate when they have medical treatment. For international patients, it is difficult to tell details of symptoms and to use medical terminologies when they need to talk to healthcare providers. Therefore, for both patients and healthcare providers, language is the biggest barrier to receive effective treatments.


In India, people, particularly living in rural areas generally have their own beliefs and practices pertaining health, and some tribe groups still believe that disease comes from violation of taboos and breach of spirits. Furthermore, some of them follow treatment, which has no evidence and inherited mouth by mouth. Therefore, it might have difficulty to intervene for healthcare providers if people strongly follow their own thoughts and beliefs.

d. Socioeconomic barriers

New Zealand

The New Zealand Health Survey, which is conducted by the Ministry of Health in 2011/12 revealed that 14% of New Zealanders did not use GP service, although they had medical issues. In addition, 7% of adults did not used after-hour services, and 8% of adult did not collect prescription items. The main reason of this is especially for people from low socioeconomic group, it is difficult to afford medical cost. However, medicines are subsidized for people only need to pay relatively small amount for each prescription. Moreover, to compare to the percentage of above percentages between Maori and non-Maori, Maori registered highly percentages in each category. The root of this result is because of lower income and highly unemployment rate of Maori compared with other ethnic groups, and it becomes obstacles of visiting GP and collecting necessary medicines. To sum up, financial issue is the biggest barrier for people who are necessary to visit hospital and to take medicines.


In India, there is a huge gap of the number of medical facilities between urban areas and rural areas. Aust. J. (2002) indicated that 69% of hospitals are located in urban areas, however, the population of rural areas are three times than that of urban areas, and in urban are the majority of inhabitants are people from low socioeconomic groups. Aust. J (2012) insisted that ‘the basic nature of rural health problems is attributed also to lack of health knowledge and awareness, poor maternal and child health services and occupational hazards.’ Additionally, the rural area, their living and working conditions are abysmal, so that they are relatively straightforward to become victims of pandemics of diseases. To make the matter worse, even if they become a sick, they are not able to afford medical cost. In India, the socioeconomic gap is the big barrier, which exists in healthcare practice, and some causes of death are preventable.

e. Organizational barriers

New Zealand

In New Zealand, ambulance service is mainly operated by St John, which is not fully funded by the government. According to the article of The Press (2014), ‘St John is being forced to reshuffle its limited ambulance resources in an attempt to shoulder ballooning demand and multimillion-dollar funding shortfalls.’ The background of this issue is that New Zealand is an aging society, therefore, a lot of elderly people have conical illnesses, and, then, demands of ambulance has been increasing. However, St John is a charity organisation, their funds and resources are limited. Therefore, it might cause the slower response to arrival time of an ambulance, in particular, rural areas. It is often said that in case of emergency, how quickly patients are received medical services is vital to be rescued, so, slow response affects directly to city dwellers’ lives.


Dr. Mohammad Akram (2013) mentioned the situation of sanitation in India at the conference of Sociology of Sanitation National Conference. According to him, 55% of population has no access to toilet in India, and most of them are living in slums and rural areas. In many developed countries, the sanitation is the first priority that the authority organized. However, in India, the interest of public health system was weaker than to be grown up economically, and the policy makers of government were not attracted by sanitation. The government has a power to make policies but if members of the government are not aware of importance of it, it becomes obstruct to improve the satiation and condition.

(1254 words)



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