Cost no longer a barrier for Robot Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy Procedures

Cost is no longer a barrier as Southern Cross Health Society members on extensive cover plans no longer have a shortfall for Robot Assisted Laparascopic Prostatectomy (RALP) procedures. Under a new Affiliated Provider agreement with Grace Hospital, the procedure is now covered according to policy terms and conditions*. Shared cover plan members will now only have the normal 20% co-payment for a procedure undertaken by an Affiliated Provider.

This development brings the benefits of robotic-assisted surgery within reach of a wider range of patients. Under this minimally invasive procedure, patients are likely to lose less blood, have reduced post-op pain and minimised scarring and shorter recovery time.

Grace Hospital is currently the only North Island Hospital able to offer robotic assisted surgery, using the latest Da Vinci SI robot commissioned earlier this year. Pioneers of robotic-assisted surgery in New Zealand, Grace Hospital has been operating with robotic-assistance since 2007 with a specialised robotic team of anaesthetists and nursing staff.

Two surgeons are currently available for robotic surgery at Grace Hospital. These are Associate Professor of Surgery Peter Gilling – recognised by Expertscape as one of the top 10 surgeons worldwide for his research and treatment of prostatic enlargement and he is New Zealand’s most experienced robotic surgeon, and Jim Duthie – the only Fellowship trained robotic surgeon based in the North Island.

Patients requiring more information about robotic surgery and other treatment options for prostate cancer should contact Peter Gilling 07 579 0466;  or Jim Duthie 07 571 2288; Email: for a consultation.

*From 21 July 2014, robot-assisted surgery will be a general exclusion under Southern Cross policies, and will only be available when there is an Affiliated Provider agreement in place for an approved healthcare service.

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