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Queenstown Surgical Hospital Plans Unveiled

23 August 2005

Queenstown Surgical Hospital Plans Unveiled

The Southern Cross Health Trust and Mercy Hospital Dunedin today announced plans to work together with the goal of establishing a private surgical hospital in Queenstown.

The joint venture announcement is the culmination of several months of work to establish the viability of such a facility. There are still a number of matters presently under discussion and conditions that need to be settled to the satisfaction of all the parties but there is a confidence that a new hospital will be the final outcome.

The hospital will be located on land adjacent to the existing Frankton Hospital, and is dependent upon satisfactory land lease arrangements being agreed with the Southland District Health Board, and subject to the approval of the Ministry of Health.

Southern Cross Healthcare Group Chief Executive, Dr Ian McPherson described the planned hospital as an important addition to health services in the Queenstown/Lakes region.

“As a not-for-profit organisation, Southern Cross wants to see quality health care available to all New Zealanders.”

Southern Cross Hospital’s Chief Operating Officer, Terry Moore said “currently, patients from this region travel long distances for surgery - to either Invercargill, Dunedin or Christchurch. The new hospital will provide improved access for residents of one of New Zealand’s fastest growing regions.

Mercy Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Michael Woodhouse said that the opportunity to joint venture with Southern Cross hospitals signals the strengthening of the relationship between the two organisations and the beginning of what he expects will be a long standing partnership.

“Mercy Hospital has a long history of providing care for patients in the Queenstown/Lakes area and has a number of strong links with the medical community there.

“Partnering with Southern Cross will build on those strengths and provide a viable surgical option for the community, sooner than would have otherwise been possible,” said Mr Woodhouse.

The intention behind Southern Cross and Mercy Hospital creating this joint venture is to further progress the development of the hospital over the next few months – in conjunction with clinician representatives and the Southland DHB.

Mr Moore added, “While it is too early to accurately predict a probable completion date, we aim to have the facility operating, initially for day surgery, within two years.

“The ability to undergo longer stay surgery is also part of a longer term strategy,” he said.

Although it was conceivable that publicly funded procedures could be performed at the new facility, the viability of the venture is not dependent on the Southland District Health Board purchasing services.

ENDS

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