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New Medical Ward For Gisborne Hospital

New Medical Ward For Gisborne Hospital

A new Medical Day Ward, used for cancer treatment, will be built at Gisborne Hospital next year East Coast MP Anne Tolley announced today. The announcement signals a new era of treatment for cancer and other medical conditions for Tairawhiti people.

A purpose-built treatment centre will mean that people receiving cancer treatment will do so in an environment more conducive to care, says Mrs Tolley. “The focus will be on building a facility that is more comfortable for patients, easier to access and better for doctors and nurses to work in.”

“In addition the facility will provide a central location for the Cancer Society to meet with clients at clinics. While the unit will be primarily used for cancer treatment, it will also be a base for other medical day treatments like blood transfusions or drug infusions.”

The number of people being treated for cancer at Gisborne Hospital has dramatically increased over the last couple of years. In 2012 there was an average of 72 treatments per month. Between July 2013 and March 2014 there was an average of 120 treatments per month, an increase of 67%. This is mainly because of a more frequent visiting oncology service from Waikato DHB meaning more people are able to have their treatment closer to home

In the past people receiving chemotherapy treatment would have attended Gisborne Hospital on a Thursday, says Clinical Nurse Manager Natasha Ashworth. “Chemotherapy treatment is now available three days a week.”

“Currently the Day Ward is used for a variety of surgical and medical procedures most of which people do not have to be admitted to hospital for. This means people having minor surgery, like a lump being removed to test or looking down into their stomach to find out if they have cancer, could be sitting next to people who are having chemotherapy as part of their treatment for cancer.”

“This will change later this month when a new Surgical Day Unit is opened. All minor surgery will be moved from the Day Ward. This leaves medical day treatments needing a new home as the current space is not fit for purpose and doesn’t meet current standards.”

The announcement today from Mrs Tolley will make a big difference to these patients once the new facility is built, says Tairawhiti District Health Board Chair David Scott. “It will also help TDH to continue to meet government targets for faster cancer treatment; 80% of people referred with high suspicion of cancer starting their treatment within 62 days.”

The new unit is expected to cost $850,000. The space will allow TDH to respond to expected increases in demand for services from the aging population, especially for Maori, and future government decisions on cancer screening programmes.


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