Our untold story
As well as the many vital commercial services we provide, there’s a broad range of other things Southern Cross does behind the scenes to make Kiwis’ lives better.
Charity is close to our heart
Every year, people who are not able to be seen in the public system within an appropriate time frame, and who cannot fund the surgery themselves, can receive surgeries with the support of the Southern Cross Health Trust.
Surgeons may apply on behalf of their patients and they perform the surgeries, along with anaesthetists, usually free of charge. If accepted, the surgery is performed at a Southern Cross hospital and the Health Trust waives the theatre and recovery fees, nursing, bed and accommodation fees, general medical supplies and any medication required.
We encourage surgeons at our hospitals to participate, and many have generously donated their time, so that New Zealanders can have surgery they desperately need - but can’t afford. In the past five years alone, more than $1.2m of charitable surgeries have been performed.
We also support a wide range of other charitable organisations and initiatives, including Revive-a-Smile, Smile NZ Free Dental Day, Auckland City Mission Calder Clinic, Never Too Young, Mercy Hospice and the SPCA. To date, our dental initiatives have helped thousands of low-income New Zealanders access life changing dental care free of charge.
Our wealth of knowledge
We want New Zealanders to have access to quality information they can trust about the medical issues that matter to them. So, we operate one of New Zealand’s most popular online medical libraries, with more than 3.5 million visits in 2019 (including many from overseas).
Some 847,000 Kiwis used our library to better understand medical conditions affecting them and their families. Among the most popular searches were queries about strep throat, glandular fever, gastroenteritis, high blood pressure and haemorrhoids.
Supporting New Zealand’s health workforce
We actively support our registered nurses with their professional development. This commitment includes employing 20-30 new graduate nurses within our hospital network each year. In fact, we’re one of very few non-public organisations that have their own Nurse Entry to Practice (NETP) programme, which provides a supportive first year of practice for newly graduated registered nurses. This supports the Ministry of Health’s Safer Staffing Accord promise of providing employment and training for all nursing graduates.
We also identified a national shortage in the anaesthetic assistant workforce and funded, developed and commenced a competence programme for registered nurses to enhance their skills. This is a nationwide programme available to all hospitals, with 18 nurses so far having undertaken the opportunity.
Making the most of what we no longer need
Recycled materials from our businesses find their way into everything from bicycle frames (made from discarded aluminium anaesthetic bottles sent to Tiwai Point) and playground mats (made from old hospital PVC bags that held saline solution) to amazing sculptures.
Southern Cross Hospitals was recently awarded a certificate of sustainability by Waste Management Technical Services for keeping over 5.5 tonnes of plastic from going into landfill. We’re also working with our suppliers to find smarter ways for disposal of waste, reducing landfill impact across the network, and reducing the amount of waste generated in the first place.
Next chapter: Track record of excellence