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ACC Review Sensible

17 July 2008

Media release

ACC Review Sensible

A full review of ACC has the potential to achieve more effective rehabilitation of injured New Zealanders, the Group Chief Executive of Southern Cross Healthcare, Dr Ian McPherson, said today.

"The National Party policy talks about a stock take and an investigation into opening the Work Account up to competition. We would support such a review if the intention is to evaluate how we can improve health outcomes for New Zealanders," he said.

"The ACC scheme is good, and the envy of many other countries, but that does not mean it cannot be improved. A number of studies, including the PriceWaterhouseCoopers review released in March, have already concluded that there is room for improvement in areas such as rehabilitation and injury prevention.

"Southern Cross is already working with a number of New Zealand businesses in the areas of rehabilitation, case management and return to work programmes for injured employees. We're helping companies get people rehabilitated and back to work earlier after injuries . We're also helping with wellness programmes to prevent long-term or chronic health problems."

Dr McPherson said Southern Cross, is a totally New Zealand not-for-profit Friendly Society with health care at its core, ensuring that should it get further involved in workplace rehabilitation no monies would be lost to private or offshore interests.

Southern Cross has experience in rehabilitation and case management through the Southern Cross Medical Care Society's subsidiary business Care Advantage and could usefully contribute to any evaluation of opening up the ACC Work Account to competition.

"Southern Cross is happy to work with anyone who shares the goal of improving the health and productivity of New Zealanders and the New Zealand workforce."

- Ends -

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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