October 2, 2023
The Ipsos Global Health Service Monitor survey has been run on a regular basis in around 30 markets globally since 2018. The survey was conducted in New Zealand for the first time in July-August 2023 and includes a sample of n=1,003 New Zealanders.
Three quarters of New Zealanders (75%) believe that our healthcare system is overstretched. While this is significantly higher than the global country average (62%), New Zealand is not alone – a majority in 25 of the 31 countries surveyed say that their healthcare system is overstretched and under pressure.
Mental health is identified as the number one health concern in New Zealand by a considerable margin, with over half (59%) saying that it is the biggest health issue that New Zealanders are currently facing. While mental health is also the number one health issue globally, New Zealanders’ level of concern is significantly higher compared to the global country average (44%) and is sixth highest among the 31 countries surveyed.
Cancer is the number two health concern in New Zealand, with 35% identifying it as key health issue facing the country, while only 15% see COVID-19 as a major health issue. New Zealanders are also significantly less concerned about stress as a health issue compared to other countries (17%, cf. 30% global country average).
New Zealanders’ perceived quality of, and trust in, the healthcare system are in line with the global country average. Just over half of New Zealanders (52%) rated the country’s healthcare system as good, while a similar proportion (53%) trust that the healthcare system will provide them with the best treatment.
Around two thirds of New Zealanders (66%) believe that the wait time to get an appointment with a doctor is too long. The majority (64%) also believe that many people in the country cannot afford good healthcare. These levels are similar to the global country averages (67% and 61% respectively). Additionally, less than half of New Zealanders (43%) believe that the country’s healthcare system provides equitable care.
However, New Zealanders feel more confident about the accessibility of information about taking care of their own health (68%, cf. 57% global country average) and healthcare services (65%, cf. 56%).
When it comes to challenges, staffing shortages and access to treatment/waiting times are identified as the biggest problems facing the healthcare system. Notably, New Zealanders are significantly more likely to express concerns about staffing shortages (64%) compared to the global country average (46%).
Carin Hercock, Managing Director, Ipsos New Zealand, said: “This is the first time Ipsos in New Zealand has participated in the Ipsos Global Health Service Monitor, giving us an excellent opportunity to understand New Zealanders perception of health Issues and health services within a global context. Immediately striking is the significant majority of New Zealanders who have nominated mental health as the biggest issue facing our country. Global comparisons show us this is higher than the global average and global trends tell us that mental health became the top issue globally in 2022 after the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Amanda Dudding, Research Director, Public Affairs, Ipsos New Zealand, added: “This study tells us that New Zealanders are much more likely to identify staff shortages as the biggest issue facing the Healthcare system, which then flows down into concerns about waiting times for those needing treatment. Interestingly, New Zealand stacks up well when it comes to healthcare communications and very few people see healthcare bureaucracy as a significant issue.”