View Full Version : Calling all NZ'ers

10-23-2007, 09:23 PM
Hi everyone,
Here is my story.
I'm 27, I've had one scoliosis surgery funded under southern cross (nz insurer) and need another. Unfortunately, between times Southern Cross has added scoliosis to their list of conditions that are not covered for anyone, regardless of how long they have had their policy and whether or not it was previously covered.
I can't get scoliosis surgery through the public system, I haven't tried because my surgeon has told me they just don't have the funding to do it until it is really bad and I'm disabled.
I don't like to whinge, but I have a lot of pain, every day, and I do what I can to make sure that I stay healthy and am involved in everything I want to be. I can't really tolerate the pain when I do sport, so I just swim and do pilates. I'd love to dance the night away with my friends, but I consider it an accomplishment to get though dinner at a restaraunt without leaving early due to pain.
I have had to quit my nursing job for ovious reasons, and am retraining as a psychologist.
The situation of not being able to get my surgery publically, and Southern Cross not funding it means that I have to find the estimated $50k from somewhere. I wrote to southern cross expressing my dismay and they offered me $20k, which I will accept. I have just sent off a letter to the private hospital where I will have my operation to ask them for their help in reducing the cost of my surgery, I'm not holding my breath but have to do that.
If I was a child, I would have this surgery done in our public childrens hospital, because they are so well funded through charities etc. The plight of children in need pulls on peoples heart strings, and they donate. I think that's wonderful, but I can't help but to feel envious that they get the treatment that I only dream of. I just heard of a 16 year old girl having her surgery done a few months after finding out about her scoliosis, and them using a $10k bone graft putty so that she didn't have to have it taken from her hip. I will be having a hip graft and risk the pain because I won't add the $10k cost to my surgery.
The thing is, that I can scrounge the money from family to have the surgery, but not everyone is in the position that they can do that. I'm not someone who readily makes a fuss, and I am really reluctant to do this... but... I'm considering going to the media and drawing attention to my situation in the hope of placing pressure on the public system into funding this, and maybe pressuring southern cross into reinstating funding.
Is there anyone else in NZ that would be interested in supporting me in doing this? willing to share their story? Also, any health professionals who would be interested in speaking out?
I'm not sure if I will do this yet, I am not really into attention seeking. But perhaps by speaking out I can help others in this situation.

10-24-2007, 01:31 AM
Hi NZ,

There's nothing wrong with fighting for what you think is right!!! There seems to be complications in every country concerning our plight, and it's a shame.

It's not like we have a condition that we have caused ourselves, or something that we can correct by ourselves. Why this condition is not recognized as much as conditions that gets as much attention as obesity, alcoholism or even drug addition, still makes me crazy.

Don't stop fighting for what you think is right!!!