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Objectives Of Public Health Bill Supported

5 May 2008

For Immediate Release

Southern Cross Supports Objectives Of Public Health Bill

Southern Cross Healthcare today offered its tentative support to the Government’s Public Health Bill, but said more information was required.

The Bill extends the obligation to provide statistics to the Health Minister - that currently sits only with District Health Boards - to a range of other organisations including private hospitals and health insurers.

Southern Cross, a not for profit and New Zealand’s largest health care organisation outside the public sector, says greater collaboration and cooperation between all those involved in the health sector would benefit New Zealanders.

“We fully support the objectives of the Bill which are to improve knowledge, education and health research. If we can help advance these objectives through the provision of statistical information, and still protect the privacy of our members and patients, we will,” says Southern Cross Healthcare Group Chief Executive Dr. Ian McPherson.

Dr. McPherson put a caveat on this support however because as yet the Government has not provided any details about the nature of the information it will require and who will meet the extra compliance costs.

“As a not for profit, the primary purpose of Southern Cross is to look after the interests of its 830,000 plus health insurance members and around 60,000 hospital patients.

“We would naturally be very concerned with any suggestion of extra administration costs, as a result of any new data capture requirements, as this would have to be passed on to our members though premiums or to patients through hospital charges."

Dr. McPherson said he looked forward to sitting down with the Minister and getting some further details.


About Southern Cross:

Southern Cross Healthcare is one of New Zealand’s best known and most trusted brands, offering a broad range of health-related services to New Zealanders since the early 1960s. The Southern Cross Healthcare Group consists of two separate organisations – Southern Cross Medical Care Society offering health insurance and related services, and Southern Cross Health Trust, operating 10 wholly-owned hospitals and three joint venture hospitals along with Southern Cross Travel Insurance.

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