Is there a social healthcare crisis looming in NZ?

2 min read
May 9, 2024

The Financial Services Council (FSC) has released its latest Insight & Trends report that shows that New Zealand is facing a social healthcare crisis.

Richard Klipin, CEO of the FSC, said “It is great that we are living longer, but this will put significant strain on our social systems, with Kiwis over 65 set to double by 2050 and life expectancy at an average of 82 years old. 

‘As the pace of life span speeds up, we aren’t seeing an equal improvement in our health span and as such, research indicates that we are living half of our lives in moderate or poor health,” continued Klipin.

In the week of World Health Day, with the theme ‘My health, my right’, the FSC has delved into industry data which shows that an additional quarter of a million Kiwis turned to health insurance in the last year.

“Older people have a significant part to play in our society and with many working longer, we urgently need to look at how our public and private health systems can work together to enable a healthier ageing population to play an active part in society,” added Klipin.

The report highlights that:

  • There is a looming social healthcare crisis as our ageing populations live longer, but not healthier.
  • The number of Kiwis with health insurance has increased in New Zealand to 1.45 million in 2023.
  • The most concerning health issue reported in 2023, especially for the younger generations, is mental health.
  • Life expectancy has increased by 11 years from 71 in 1960 to 82 in 2021, with women likely to live around 3.5 years longer than men according to Stats NZ. 
  • 86% of New Zealanders report they are good health, much higher than the OECD of 68% and one of the highest scores across the OECD.

“We need to rethink healthcare and create a well-balanced and integrated health system that achieves great patient outcomes for the benefit of all New Zealanders as they age.

‘We are calling for a cross-party and industry focus on solving our looming social healthcare crisis before it becomes too late.

‘Increasing collaboration with the private sector and utilising the private sector’s skills and priorities is a key driver in our policy priority to deliver accessible and affordable healthcare in our Blueprint for Growth, to enable New Zealanders to maintain their wellbeing for as long as they can,” concluded Klipin. 


Access the Insights and Trends report on affordable and accessible healthcare here.

For all media enquiries, please contact: 

Haydee Stroud
Acting Chief Executive Officer
Financial Services Council of New Zealand