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July 1985

New Zealand: Ophthalmology, Medical Education, and National Background

Author Affiliations


Arch Ophthalmol. 1985;103(7):973-976. doi:10.1001/archopht.1985.01050070099038

Though and Australia are separate and independent nations that are over 1,300 miles apart, they share South Pacific geography, British heritage, aboriginal concerns, and a similar medical background.1 British sovereignty and the settlement of New Zealand began in 1840, when the population was barely 1,000. Today, its 3.2 million inhabitants are comfortably spread over 104,000 hilly square miles, an area equal in size to the state of Colorado. Over 90% of the population are of British origin, and less than 8% are the tall, strong Maori. Life expectancy in the early 1980s reached nearly 75 years for women and a few years less for men. There are approximately 27,000 hospital beds and 2,000 physicians in New Zealand, and the population is nearly 100% literate. The two major land masses—the North Island and the South Island— have climates and architecture similar to those of the British Isles but add geographic

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