Brightside: Auckland’s Millennium Hospital Opens
Auckland’s newest hospital – arguably the most up to date in New Zealand right now – will be officially opened in the heart of Epsom, Auckland on February 16th by the Governor-General of New Zealand Sir Michael Hardie Boys.
Before a large audience, he will reveal a plaque and declare the 4,000 square metre hospital open.
Southern Cross Healthcare’s multi-million dollar Brightside Hospital is a three theatre hospital development, servicing 53 in-patients, and with a staff of 50. The hospital, which is built on the site of one of Epsom’s original residences and boasts unique 150 year old protected exotic trees, is Southern Cross Healthcare’s flagship millennium hospital. Each year, it will perform complex, modern procedures for approx. 4,000 private patients, mainly in the specialties of urology and gynaecology.
“This hospital will do more private procedures in urology than any other hospital in New Zealand,” says general manager of Southern Cross Healthcare Delivery Dr Lesley McTurk. “It is arguably the leading private hospital in that area in the country and certainly a leader in the surgical specialties it provides.”
One of the procedures it boasts is the unique “brachytherapy” which it was first to bring into New Zealand last year. The therapy allows radio active seed implants for sufferers of some types of prostate cancer. Brightside is the first hospital in New Zealand to offer this type of treatment to prostate cancer sufferers, although it is sought by 38% of prostate cancer patients in the USA. It was the first treatment in New Zealand to go through and be approved by the rigorous national Ethical Committee of the HFA Ethics Committee. [see brachytherapy story].
The hospital has been built to complement the suburban surroundings, and has been designed to look like quality townhouses in a natural indoor-outdoor setting. Even the colour of the hospital is in natural tones, and the materials used are the same as those used for top private homes [see design story].
A unique feature of the hospital is its facilities for families. Brightside Hospital features a whanau room, designed mainly for families of patients who seek support during treatment.
“This room can accommodate four people– one patient, and three support members,” says Dr McTurk. “It has two ensuites and self contained facilities. To our knowledge, there is nothing like it in any other private hospital in New Zealand.”
The air-conditioned hospital takes full advantage of natural light, and mature garden setting. It has specially designed balconies and courtyards for patients to enjoy the landscaping, and the balconies also overlook three mature, protected trees planted mid last century on the site by the original colonial owner, George Owen.
Southern Cross Healthcare has owned the site and an earlier hospital on it since 1979.
Brightside is one of three private hospitals owned by Southern Cross Healthcare in Auckland. The Auckland hospitals comprise Brightside, Gillies Avenue and North Harbour Hospitals and boast a total of ten theatres, procedure rooms and day stay facilities. The Auckland hospitals provide flexibility for patients, specialists and funders, and cover a range of different medical specialties. They are a part of a network of 13 private hospitals operated by the Southern Cross Hospital Trust nationwide. This is the largest network of private surgical hospitals in New Zealand, and it employs nearly 1,000 people in addition to the 800 specialists registered to treat patients there.
More than 35% of all patients who have had private surgery in New Zealand in the past year were treated in a Southern Cross Hospital.