15 Sep 2012

Insurer funds record elective surgery numbers

8:48 am on 15 September 2012

The insurance arm of Southern Cross says it is funding roughly the same amount of non-urgent surgery as is the Government.

The Southern Cross Medical Care Society's released its latest annual report on Friday.

It says the society funded more than $600 million worth of healthcare services this financial year.

The number of non-urgent surgical procedures funded rose by 13,000 to 171,000.

Chief executive Ian McPherson says the number of government-funded elective procedures is also at record levels.

"One of the things that I would worry about is - as times get tougher for our economy and healthcare costs keep on going up - will the Government be able to maintain that level of elective surgery and focus on the really important stuff that they do well like acutes and tertiary care."

Mr McPherson says the society has about 830,000 members - which is down, but not by a lot, in tough economic times.