9 February 2000
Biggest Southern Cross Hospital Grows by 20%
One of the South Island’s largest building development projects in the past two years is nearing conclusion and is
holding an official opening this week. The multi-million dollar development is for one of New Zealand’s largest private
Christchurch’s Southern Cross Hospital redevelopment on Bealey Avenue will be officially opened by the Chairman of
Southern Cross Healthcare, Dr Hylton LeGrice, on 10 February. The building project, which has so far taken 18 months and
used many local contractors, increased the capacity of the hospital from four to six theatres and introduced a major new
day stay facility for the city.
Manager of Southern Cross Christchurch Tau Loon Ho says the hospital is the largest in Southern Cross’ nationwide, 13
“We have 220 staff and over 9,000 patients a year, and 130 South Island specialists are accredited to work here” he
says. “The new facilities will increase patient throughput by 20% a year – and that’s only just going to meet demand.
Private patient numbers are growing considerably. Our major areas of work such as orthopaedic, general and laparoscopic
surgery are in heavy demand, and we’re the only private hospital in the South Island that does the intensely complex
The hospital redevelopment also marks a major investment on the part of leading independent radiologists Christchurch
Radiology Group, which has operated its Southern Cross Radiology site at the hospital for the past 11 years. In line
with its commitment to provide a comprehensive top quality service to patients throughout Christchurch, CRG is about to
invest in a new state of the art Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine. The new machine – fully supported by experienced
on-site specialists – will reduce pressure on CRG’s existing MRI facility. Its installation will provide Southern Cross
Radiology with the most up to date magnetic imaging facility in the South Island.
“That having been said, one area of the greatest growth is daystay – and that’s the major investment we have made for
The new development includes top quality furnishings, designed and made in New Zealand, modernising the exterior of the
hospital to a year 2000 look, and plush interior refurbishment with natural timbers.
Tau Loon explained that private patients for Southern Cross hospitals came from many walks of life, and less than half
were funded into the hospital by Southern Cross insurance. Other funders include ACC, private insurance companies such
as Aetna and fee paying patients.
“More and more people are choosing the special care that a private hospital can provide. With this redevelopment we have
redesigned much of the flow of the hospital and refurbished all the rooms, bringing them up to the best standards in New
Zealand. Many thousands of dollars have also been spent on new equipment to feature in the two new theatres and day
stay,” he says.
One of the theatres is still under construction and will be fully commissioned at Easter.
Southern Cross Christchurch provides private facilities for all specialties including: cardiac, orthopaedic surgery,
general surgery, gynaecology, Ear Nose and Throat, Opthalmology, paediatric surgery, plastics, oral maxillofacial and
Southern Cross has owned the hospital on the Bealey Avenue site since 1979, when an earlier refurbishment project was
initiated. Prior to that, it was owned by the Little Company of Mary and was known as Calvary Hospital.
Southern Cross Healthcare operates the largest network of private surgical hospitals in New Zealand, and employs nearly
1,000 people nationwide in addition to the 800 specialists registered to treat patients at Southern Cross Hospitals.
More than 35% of all patients who have had private surgery in New Zealand in the past year were treated in a Southern