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Hospital opens $8.5 million theatre suite

MEDIA RELEASE 29 JUNE

Wakefield Hospital opens $8.5 million theatre suite

Patient demand has driven an $8.5 million expansion of Wakefield Hospital’s operating theatres, to be formally opened tomorrow (Friday) by Associate Health Minister Hon. Peter Dunne.

Chief Executive Richard Barnes said the hospital’s theatres were working at close to capacity, with constraints in public funding being a significant factor in the steady growth in demand.

“We are doing higher volumes of operations, and they are tending to be more complex, requiring more sophisticated equipment and taking longer” Mr Barnes said.

“The Government’s recent signals that access to waiting lists for specialist assessments and operations will be reduced will further drive demand for diagnosis and treatment at Wakefield.”

The addition of two new operating theatres brings Wakefield’s total number of theatres to seven, a 40% increase in capacity. One of the new theatres is already working, and the other will be commissioned as soon as it is needed. The project also included adding significant new ancillary space, including a major expansion of the central sterilisation department to ensure the unit is at the forefront of international infection control standards.

Orthopaedic surgeon Professor Geoff Horne said the new suite was among the best facilities in New Zealand.

“Few if any other private hospitals have got facilities like this,” he said. “It allows us to be a lot more efficient and flexible in offering surgeries. Also, the new theatres will enable new technologies to be employed because there’s much more space for equipment. You need that equipment if you’re doing for example, major spinal surgery. More complicated procedures mean more equipment.”

The building project has taken approximately one year and been undertaken by Fletcher Construction, the same company that built the original Wakefield Hospital building in 1927.

Together Wakefield Hospital and Bowen Hospital, both owned by publicly listed company Wakefield Health, have approximately 65% of private theatre capacity in the Wellington region.

ENDS

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