Private Hospitals Place Restrictions on Unvaxxed Patients


Private healthcare policyholders aged 12 and over may find it harder to be treated at two hospitals that require patients to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Mercy Hospital in Dunedin states that from 15 December 2021 all patients and their visitors must be vaccinated prior to admission for surgery – other than in exceptional circumstances.

In Tauranga, Grace Hospital announced on 29 November that patients wanting to use its facilities must be double vaccinated.

The hospital says staff will need to see evidence of vaccination and that patients who are unvaccinated will be assessed for “…urgency of surgery, and may proceed for surgery with additional measures, in consultation with their surgeon and the Grace team”.

Nick Astwick, CEO Southern Cross Health Society says its healthcare policyholders will be able to access private health treatment regardless of their vaccination status.

We are working hard to ensure all members have access to their policy benefits,” he says.

“For members who are not vaccinated, there are some health providers requiring negative tests rather than vaccination.

“Therefore, even if proof of full vaccination is required at some facilities – and we understand this is only a small number – there should be other options for members to receive treatment.”

Astwick says Southern Cross will provide cover for travel if there are no local options for treatment.

Nib New Zealand CEO Rob Hennin says if a member’s chosen healthcare provider is unable to perform their procedure due to their vaccination status, it will extend its existing Travel and Accommodation Benefit to cover the cost of getting to the closest available hospital for surgery (terms and conditions apply).

“Members can also use our Find a Provider directory to search for private healthcare providers across the country,” he says. “We encourage any members with questions to contact us to discuss the options available to them.”’