Southern Cross celebrate new marketing campaign and more daily news

Southern Cross has launched the next instalment of the With You campaign. This campaign showcases employees of Southern Cross’ business customers working in different sectors. The campaign shows different tasks being completed to provide a glimpse into the work that is done to keep New Zealand businesses running. The campaign will run across TV, On Demand, OOH, print, social media, digital and will also be supported by PR.

“Southern Cross Health Insurance (Southern Cross) has launched the next chapter in its ‘With You’ story with a new creative platform that demonstrates how Southern Cross is with more New Zealand business leaders and their people than any other health insurer, and to recognise the Kiwi workers who give their everything, every day.

The work was created by TBWA\NZ after it won a competitive pitch last year to become the creative agency on record for Southern Cross Health Insurance and Southern Cross Pet Insurance.

Southern Cross is a health and wellbeing partner to over 3,500 businesses, helping business leaders to support their people beyond just the time they spend at work. Just over half of Southern Cross’ almost 895,000 members are part of an employer work scheme. 

Featuring employees who work for some of Southern Cross’ business customers across a range of sectors, the marketing campaign and ongoing platform captures the reality of life inside the workplace – one rarely seen by people outside of those organisations.

From early starts to goal post shifts, mucking in and perking each other up – the campaign shines a spotlight on the many ways that New Zealand workers consistently give their all to keep New Zealand businesses running.

TBWA/NZ’s Chief Creative Officer Shane Bradnick said the campaign presented an opportunity for Southern Cross to champion the efforts of everyday heroes who make a vital contribution to not only their place of work, but their wider communities and country.


“After the past couple of years, nothing feels more important than acknowledging the passion and dedication of New Zealand’s workforce. It was inspiring to be able to capture a representation of our country’s diverse and hardworking people, and then be able to share and celebrate their images and stories with the rest of New Zealand. 


It was a challenging production to pull off, filming on the premises of several businesses at a time when the Delta lockdown restrictions were changing rapidly. We’re grateful to Southern Cross’ business customers for welcoming us into their places of work, and the great work from Dan and the team at Eight”

Regan Savage, Head of Marketing and Engagement for Southern Cross Health Insurance, said that feedback from businesses which choose to be with Southern Cross clearly shows that the benefits provided to employees contribute to their sense of being valued by their employers.

“Celebrating that sense of purpose is something we wanted to capture with this campaign. Our customers who chose to work with us on this project - Oha Honey, Primero Profiles, BECA, Weleda and Unison - typify the thousands of businesses in Aotearoa who support their people with Southern Cross demonstrating that when you take care of your people, they will take care of your business. The creative campaign is our tribute to that partnership.

“TBWA and Eight have done a beautiful job of capturing the highs, lows, joys and challenges of New Zealanders at work – the very people who keep our economy humming and our communities thriving. It was a privilege to be welcomed into their place of work and capture their passion for what they do. We’re really looking forward to sharing their individual stories through this campaign,” said Savage.

The campaign will run across TV, On Demand, OOH, print, social, digital and be supported by PR.”



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Telehealth services predicted to be essential in 2022, and more daily news

CareHQ clinical director Dr. Reza Jarral has said that virtual services similar to CareHQ are useful in dealing with non-Covid-related GP appointments. CareHQ is a ProCare service offered in partnership with Southern Cross to help patients via online consultations seven days a week. Dr. Jarral notes that telehealth services are becoming common practice and can help offer treatment to people unable to see their regular GP in person. Dr. Jarral describes telehealth services as valuable and predicts that they will become even more essential in 2022.

 "CareHQ clinical director Dr Reza Jarral says telehealth services like CareHQ can step up to fulfil non-Covid-related appointments that might otherwise be pushed back days or even weeks.

 “The ways in which New Zealanders access healthcare have gone through significant changes since Covid-19 first reached our shores last year,” Dr Jarral says.

 “While health officials juggle existing Covid cases, more and more families are self-isolating at home in their bubbles with numbers expected to rise in the coming months."

Dr Jarral says as we learn to live with Covid in the community, there is potential for GP capacity to become stretched as the monitoring needs of housebound Covid patients grows.

 “For many New Zealanders, consulting with a GP via telehealth is no longer an unusual concept.

 “With the traditional face-to-face GP visit not always possible during lockdown periods, a phone or video call with the doctor has been the only option available to many patients.

 “Patients are also seeing the value of telehealth services outside of lockdowns.

"An online consult means they don’t have to leave the comfort of their own home if they’re feeling unwell. It also means they can access the healthcare they need in a timelier way, particularly when geography or doctors’ busy schedules pose barriers to getting seen."

If, as expected, increased pressure does land on general practices, Dr Jarral said telehealth services can step in to provide an excellent option for all New Zealanders to receive a high-quality medical assessment from an experienced GP.

“These services can also work closely with a patient’s regular GP, to deliver continuity of care while supporting grassroots primary care.

Telehealth services have already shown themselves to be a valuable tool for the health sector in 2021. These services are set to become even more essential in 2022, as the country continues to navigate the uncertainty that this pandemic brings.” Click here to read more

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New Silverdale Southern Cross hospital in the works, and more daily news

Southern Cross Healthcare will begin work on a hospital in Silverdale in six months to meet growing demand. The hospital is set to be completed in 2023 and will be equipped with three operating theatres and aa ward with ten beds. It will be on the second floor of the Silverdale Medical & Surgical building. Southern Cross Healthcare interim CEO Chris White has said that it is the right time for Southern Cross to establish themselves in the Hibiscus Coast and Bays region although the site was purchased eight years ago.

Southern Cross Healthcare has announced that it will soon begin the fit-out of its wholly owned hospital in Silverdale, which will meet growing healthcare demand in Auckland’s burgeoning Hibiscus Coast and Bays area.

Fit-out work on the hospital, which will have three operating theatres and a 10-bed ward, is set to commence in six months and is expected to complete in mid-2023. The facility will also have nine recovery chairs for day surgeries. The surgical specialities will be confirmed at a later date, Southern Cross said.

The hospital is located on the second floor of the Silverdale Medical & Surgical building in Polarity Rise. Several other medical providers are already working out of the purpose-built facility, including general practice, physiotherapy, dental, radiology and a pharmacy.

The Hibiscus Coast and Bays is now one of Auckland's most populous areas, having experienced rapid population growth in recent years, with 16% growth between 2013 and 2018. However, residents must travel further afield to access private surgical care due to the scarcity of facilities.

Southern Cross Healthcare interim chief executive Chris White said the firm purchased the Silverdale site eight years ago after recognising the growing community’s need to access healthcare, especially for its ageing population and many families in the area.

“The time is now right for Southern Cross to activate our presence in the Hibiscus Coast and Bays region,” White said. “We’re pleased that we’ll be able to bring hospital services to market in a relatively short time frame because we’re going into an existing building. We look forward to supporting the local community and increasing access to quality healthcare.” Click here to read more

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Southern Cross initiatives to support members, and more daily news

At the beginning of December Southern Cross introduced a free consultation and coaching service that will be on offer until 31 March 2022. All members have access to virtual GP consultations through CareHQ and three counselling or wellbeing coaching sessions through Raise. Southern Cross CEO Nick Astwick has said that it is important to offer members support during this time.

“Southern Cross Health Insurance (Southern Cross) is offering its members online GP consultations, and access to counselling or wellbeing coaching, completely free of charge, for the next four months.

The offer of telehealth and mental wellbeing support is a significant investment, and can be accessed by all Southern Cross members, regardless of their policy, from 1 December 2021 to 31 March 2022*.

The GP telehealth consultations will be available through CareHQ, an online GP consultation service made possible by Southern Cross and ProCare, and must be booked through the MySouthernCross app.

Members can also access up to three free counselling or wellbeing coaching sessions with Raise (formerly EAPworks), a Southern Cross Healthcare joint venture and which is a leading provider of support for New Zealanders wanting mental health and wellbeing assistance in New Zealand. These services can be provided online or in person.

Nick Astwick, CEO of Southern Cross Health Insurance, said it was important to the organisation that it could take practical steps to support members in ways they really valued.

“We’re living in very uncertain times, and we feel that removing financial barriers to accessing online GP appointments or seeking support when things get tough - is a very tangible way to help our members.

“Many New Zealanders will face mental health and wellbeing challenges at some time in their lives, and this has been brought into sharper focus during the pandemic. We want to make sure our members can access support if they need it,” said Astwick.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, New Zealanders have embraced online GP consultations as a safe and easy way to access primary healthcare, particularly during lockdown periods.

“As New Zealand opens up and adjusts to living with COVID-19 in the community, we’ll see telehealth services become even more important, particularly to those who have to self-isolate at home,” added Astwick. “Online GP consultations give members the flexibility to see a doctor if they’re away on holiday, or if their usual GP practice is closed over the summer holiday period.”

“Just like we did with the premium pledge last year, we wanted to support our members again in a meaningful way that reflects the current challenges, so we’re pleased to deliver this support in a way that we know our members need at this time.

“The period over Christmas is often a time of added pressure and stress, and this year it follows some tumultuous months in lockdown. It was important to us that we could launch these additional support measures ahead of what might be a challenging time for some New Zealanders,” said Astwick.

*Southern Cross members can find out more about the CareHQ and Raise offer (which is subject to availability and to change) and read the full terms and conditions here.

About CareHQ

CareHQ is a partnership between Southern Cross Health Insurance and ProCare. CareHQ provides New Zealanders with a convenient and easy-to-use online consultation when they can’t see their regular GP or need an appointment now or after-hours. Appointments are available 7 days a week, 7am-7pm, every day of the year. CareHQ does not enrol patients, allowing continuity of care with their usual GP. There is a flat rate of $65 per appointment, and normally Southern Cross members get a 15 per cent discount when booking through the My Southern Cross app.

About Raise

Raise is a leading provider of mental health and wellbeing support in New Zealand and has trained practitioners, counsellors, psychologists and other relevant providers throughout New Zealand. Their key specialist areas include grief, relationships, stress, parenting, drug and alcohol, family violence, workplace issues (including change management, harassment, bullying and conflict), and career development.” Click here to read more

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Southern Cross offer free online consultations

As of 1 December, Southern Cross is providing all Southern Cross members (regardless of plan type) with access to unlimited free online doctor consultations via CareHQ, and 3 free mental health sessions for counseling or well-being coaching with Raise. The Raise counseling or well-being coaching sessions normally cost $140 per consult, and sessions can be carried out virtually or face-to-face (Covid levels permitting). This is an initiative that will run through until 31 March 2022. 

For more information please click here.

Southern Cross receive Readers Digest readers endorsement, and more daily news

Both Southern Cross Health Insurance and Southern Cross Travel Insurance have been awarded gold in the Reader’s Digest Quality Service Awards 2022. This is the fifth consecutive year that Southern Cross Health Insurance has been awarded gold in the health insurance category. Southern Cross has credited their commitment to helping members navigate through the pandemic as the reason for maintaining their award-winning customer service. To assist members Southern Cross has offered several services including the hardship packages, ProCare, CareHQ as well as offering the Cancer Cover Plus policy.

Southern Cross’ shared commitment to strengthening customer connections in the wake of the pandemic has resulted in its health insurance and travel insurance businesses both winning gold in their respective categories in the Reader’s Digest Quality Service Awards 2022...

This is the fifth consecutive gold for Southern Cross Health Insurance (SCHI) and the third in a row for Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI). Both organisations share the Southern Cross brand, and are businesses united by a not-for-profit ethos helping New Zealanders to look after their health and wellbeing.

The Southern Cross businesses worked hard to maintain this award-winning customer service by providing ongoing support to customers during a time of increased uncertainty due to COVID-19, when accessing healthcare and travel plans were significantly impacted. It also delivered improvements and innovations based on the changing needs of customers.

SCHI initiated hardship packages to support members facing challenges due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic. It also launched, in partnership with ProCare, virtual health consultation service CareHQ, and introduced a new health insurance policy upgrade option – Cancer Cover Plus. SCHI’s membership is now the highest in 14 years, sitting at almost 893,000.

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Database V14.6 now Live!

Our updated database is now live on Quotemonster and reflects the following changes:

Changes to Research include:

  • New policy documents and minor rating changes for Accuro and Unimed
  • Asteron Life's new range of enhancements (for more details click here)
  • Cignas’ new range of enhancements (for more details click here)
  • Income and Mortgage Protection product weightings have been updated (for more details click here
  • Definition reviews for:
    • Aplastic Anaemia - Trauma
    • Critical Cancer & Booster (AMP only) – reflecting the difference between the base and plus range
    • Peripheral neuropathy- Trauma
    • Diagnostic tests – Medical
    • Imaging – Medical
    • Product flexibility – Medical
    • Support & Allowance – Medical
    • Inflation Adjustment (Partners Life Income and Expenses only)
    • Offsets – Income protection
    • Partial Disability – Income and Mortgage Protection

Changes to Quotemonster include:

  • The option to add a 50% benefit loading to health cover – initiated by your feedback
  • Family Protection Research now available for AIA, Cigna, Fidelity Life and Partners Life
  • Spring cleaning for our Research ratings:
  • Optional items that are not included in the score are shown as 0*


  •   If an insurer does not have an item (but others do) this will be shown as a dash (-) for their score


  • A legend has been added to our Heat Map report once generated


  • Rate changes for the following companies:
    • nib (effective 1 October 2021)
    • Unimed (effective 1 August 2021)
    • AIA Private Health (effective 1 November 2021)
    • Southern Cross (effective 1 November 2021)

Please email us on if you have any questions or feedback.

Happy Crunching!

Southern Cross appoints new CFO, and more daily news

Southern Cross has announced the appointment of Steve Browning as Chief Financial Officer. Browning’s appointment comes after the retirement of Mike Milsom in September. Browning has said that he is delighted to join Southern Cross. Interim CEO Chris White has also expressed his delight.

“Southern Cross Healthcare (Southern Cross) has appointed Steve Browning to the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO), his return to healthcare after spending the previous two years in the hospitality sector. Browning will lead the financial and procurement services for the organisation.

A part of the Southern Cross group, Southern Cross Healthcare is New Zealand’s largest independent healthcare network, offering a nationwide network of joint venture and wholly owned hospitals; specialist centres; community-based physiotherapy and rehabilitation services; and workplace health and wellness providers.

Browning has extensive commercial, financial and organisational leadership experience gained across a wide range of sectors including healthcare, hospitality and media. He comes to Southern Cross from recent dual roles with Starbucks and Burger King, where he was Head of Finance and Chief Financial Officer respectively. Previously, Browning was Group CFO of Green Cross Health and has also held senior management roles with TVNZ and Freeview.

At Southern Cross, Browning is responsible for the provision of core financial services and systems to the national Southern Cross network of hospitals and healthcare providers. He will also lead the development and management of a range of financial support services for joint venture partner businesses.

Southern Cross Healthcare Interim CEO, Chris White, said, “We’re delighted to welcome Steve as our new CFO. His broad knowledge and experience will be a great asset to our organisation in what continues to be an exceptionally exciting time for the health sector.

“We are focused on a programme of transformation to meet future patient needs and are well positioned to continue leading the sector in new technology development and healthcare delivery excellence. Steve’s experience will be of great benefit to us as we head into the next phase of our development.”

Browning said, “I’m delighted to have joined Southern Cross, an iconic New Zealand organisation that is entirely focused on delivering quality health and wellbeing services to patients and customers. I am relishing the opportunity to be part of this exciting transformation journey.”

Browning replaces Mike Milsom, who retired from the role in September after 16 years.

Browning holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Auckland University and is a member of the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants.”


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Southern Cross on working from home, and more daily news

Southern Cross has published the findings from the 2021 Southern Cross Health Insurance – BusinessNZ Workplace Wellness Survey. The survey respondents were from all over the country, with 14% of respondents based in Auckland, 13% based in Wellington, and 13% based in Canterbury. The survey has revealed since the COVID-19 pandemic began 34% of organisations surveyed reported that they are more open to the idea of employees working from home, even outside of strict lockdowns. The survey highlighted that 73% of organisations reported that employees felt isolated while working from home, and 66% of respondents reported that more employees experienced higher levels of general stress in 2020. Click here to read more

Screen Shot 2021-10-18 at 4.22.35 PM


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Fidelity Life:

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Southern Cross reveals top claims, and more daily news

Southern Cross has revealed that spinal fusions was the most expensive surgical claim in the year to 30 June 2021, with the most expensive claim costing $222,000. Radical neck dissection surgeries were the next most expensive claims. The three most common claims made were for cryotherapy procedures (34,000 claims), excisions of skin lesions (31,000 claims) and minor surgery performed by a GP (26,000 claims). In the year ended 30 June 2021, Southern Cross paid more than three million claims valued at $1.12 billion.

“Surgery for bad backs has topped the list of most expensive surgical claims funded by Southern Cross Health Insurance (Southern Cross) in the year to 30 June 2021, with the highest individual claim coming to $222,000.

Eight of the top 10 most expensive claims paid by New Zealand’s leading health insurer were for spinal fusions - surgery which permanently connects two or more vertebrae in the spine – with four claims topping a whopping $200,000.

Southern Cross Chief Medical Officer, Stephen Child, said that the expense and volume of these claims demonstrate the value and benefits of health insurance.

“Whether you require expensive surgery such as spinal fusion, or if you are one of thousands needing a more common procedure, such as the removal of a skin lesion, Southern Cross members can have the assurance they are covered for unexpected events.”

The next two most expensive claims were for radical neck dissection surgery, which involves the removal of cancerous tumours, with each claim totalling more than $150,000.

Child said spinal fusion is a highly complex procedure and therefore can be very costly.

“Spinal fusion surgery is a very serious procedure that’s typically performed by an orthopaedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon. Often it involves the implantation of extensive metalware and artificial bone, which results in additional cost and expense.”

Southern Cross is a not-for-profit Friendly Society which operates solely for the benefit of members. For the year ended 30 June 2021, it paid more than three million claims valued at $1.12 billion

When looking at what were the most common claims paid by Southern Cross, the highest by volume was cryotherapy procedures (34,000 individual claims), followed by excisions of skin lesions (31,000) and minor surgery performed by a GP (26,000).

Cryotherapy breaks down skin lesions or skin abnormalities at the site through freezing. A skin excision procedure involves the cutting of abnormal tissue away from healthy tissue.

Colonoscopies, which look for signs of bowel cancer and investigate causes of pain, bleeding or changed bowel habits, were the fourth most commonly-funded procedure, with 23,000 claims paid by Southern Cross.

“Given the high incidence of skin cancer in New Zealand, it isn’t surprising skin lesion removal is one of the most common procedures we fund,” Child said.

Although the individual claim costs can be high, Southern Cross Health Society’s Affiliated Provider programme has helped to dampen rising healthcare costs, achieving more than $220 million of savings for members through the programme since 2012.”

Top 10 most expensive individual claims in FY21


Total paid

Spinal Fusion


Spinal Fusion


Spinal Fusion


Spinal Fusion


Spinal Fusion


Spinal fusion


Radical Neck Dissection


Radical Neck Dissection


Spinal Fusion


Spinal Fusion


Top 10 procedures by volume in FY21




Number of procedures funded

Cryotherapy of Skin Lesions

Liquid nitrogen treatment to freeze and destruct an abnormality.


Excision Skin Lesion

Cutting out abnormal tissue away, usually related to cancer.


GP minor surgery




An exam used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine (colon) and rectum.


Intravitreal injection

An injection or shot of medicine into the eye.



A test to look at the inside of the nose, the throat (pharynx) and the voice box (larynx).


Biopsy of Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue

A procedure to remove cells or skin samples from the body for laboratory examination.


Cataract extraction and insert IOL

Removal of cloudy lens in the eye and replacement with artificial IOL (intraocular) lens.


Gastroscopy (+/- Biopsy / Polyp)

A procedure to examine the upper part of the digestive system.


Removal of Teeth



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