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Former Southern Cross boss dies

Southern Cross Healthcare's former group chief executive officer Ian McPherson, has died, aged 66.

Friday, June 10th 2016, 2:39PM

Chairman Greg Gent said: "Ian worked tirelessly for the healthcare industry. With Southern Cross, he brought a lot of experience, knowledge and respect to the health insurance sector nationally and internationally.”

A testament to his expertise was his 2012 appointment to President of the International Federation of Health Plans (iFHP).

Founded in 1968 by health plan industry leaders, iFHP is the leading global network in the industry, with more than one hundred member companies from twenty-five countries. They made him an Honorary Life Member in May.

Gent said: β€œOn a personal note, he was a passionate family man. He was devoted to his wife, children and grandchildren and he certainly embodied this ethos within the Southern Cross family. He will be sorely missed.”

Dr McPherson started his career as a GP in Thames where he also practiced in anaesthetics and obstetrics. In the 1980s he worked for the International Red Cross and was the first non-Swiss to be appointed as Medical Coordinator, initially serving on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. He subsequently worked with refugees on the Thai/Cambodian border and with Vietnamese boat people in Malaysia.

Upon his return to New Zealand, he held roles as chief executive of the Bay of Plenty Health Board, worked in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, for the Ministry of Health, as executive chairman for Aetna Health and as regional general manager of health for Allianz Asia Pacific Ltd.

From 2002 to 2014, he was the group chief executive for Southern Cross Healthcare.

He was previously Chairman of the Bruce Mason Theatre Board and Chairman-elect of the Northern Regional Board of NZ Red Cross. He was on the Nominating Committee for the Guardians of NZ Superannuation Fund, President of the International Federation of Health Plans from 2012 to 2015 and held Director positions on the Boards of Work and Income, the New Zealand Insurance Ombudsman Commission and Board, Mercy Angiography Ltd, Southern Cross Hospitals Ltd, Southern Cross Benefits Ltd and NZ Red Cross National Board. His most recent appointments were as Interim Chief Executive for Hutt Valley and Wairarapa District Health Boards which he stood down from in 2015 due to illness.

Tags: Southern Cross

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