Waikato DHB to Spend $1.9 Million on Tokoroa Hospital
Waikato District Health (DHB) Board today approved an investment up to $1.9m at Tokoroa Hospital to accommodate primary care providers and relocate the DHB’s blood collection service.
“This project brings together a number of primary and secondary providers in one location and will provide opportunities for working more closely together,” said chief executive Craig Climo.
The proposal will be an investment and landlord/tenancy arrangement to support the service integration strategy that the board has had for some years at Tokoroa and Taumarunui hospitals.
The proposal sees two wards currently not in use – wards 3 and 4 – leased to primary health and non-Government organisations as long-term tenants.
Midlands Health Network’s three GP practices will lease ward 3, using their model of Integrated Family Health Centres.
There is good interest from other health and social service providers in occupying and using Ward 4 space, including the fourth GP practice supported by National Maori Coalition; podiatry, and providers from the Māori and Pacific communities. The hospital’s physiotherapy service will also move into Ward 4.
There has also been interest from some independent midwives in the district.
The DHB’s blood collection service and amalgamated community pharmacies will move from the town centre into the hospital.
This will be the first step in the building and refitting stage. Other changes in Ward 4 involve tidying up the existing rooms and decorating them.
Also getting underway will be changes to the internal layout in Ward 3 to suit the Midlands Health Network’s GP practice requirements.
“Because these are areas not used at present, apart from Physiotherapy, we hope to keep construction impacts on the wider hospital to a minimum. However, people will see and hear construction work going on. It is a positive sign for Tokoroa. Things are happening to update and improve their health services,” Mr Climo said.
Much of the work will be complete and the facility ready for use by October this year.
“There is still a lot of work to do to pin down the detail, but this approval by the board is a great start. It means the work can get underway,” he said.
Chief operating officer Jan Adams said there was potential for other services to locate to the hospital site.
“There was a real keenness from the community when we started asking for interest,” she said.
Board member Dr Clyde Wade, who for many years was clinical unit leader for rural services, said the decision was a great step for Tokoroa. “It is the right thing to do for the town.”
The decision is subject to ministerial approval.
Tokoroa Hospital sits on just over 11ha of land in the town and opened in August 1969.