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New Auckland facilities provide better access

New Auckland facilities provide better access for patients

Health Minister Annette King says the new Auckland City Hospital is a state of the art facility that brings three hospitals on to one site.

Ms King, who has taken a keen personal interest in the project, was at the hospital today to welcome the first patients into the wards.

"This $500 million development includes the latest medical technology within purpose-built facilities, and reflects the needs of patients to access health services more easily. The project brings together the acute, adult services of Auckland, Green Lane and National Women's Hospitals in one nine-level building on the Grafton site," said Ms King.

As a complement to acute services in the new hospital, Auckland District Health Board is also centralising outpatient and day-stay surgical services at another new facility, Greenlane Clinical Centre on the former Green Lane Hospital site. The first outpatient clinics open at the Greenlane Clinical Centre on October 7.

Ms King says relocating more than 400,000 outpatient visits to the Greenlane site annually will ease congestion on the new city site. "Patients will be able to make all their pre and post-operative visits to the Greenlane centre, and there will also be improved capacity to undertake day surgery there. The new facilities mean the clinicians will be doing the travelling between sites not the patients," she said.

At 75,000 square metres, or the equivalent of 16 rugby fields, Auckland City Hospital is New Zealand's largest public building and the largest health construction in New Zealand history. Over the next six months services will be relocated into the new hospital and clinical centre, with the last to move National Women's in April 2004. The new facilities will be formally opened in May 2004.

Ms King said at Auckland City Hospital clinicians will have access to latest medical technology such as electronic medical records, networked patient monitoring systems and digital patient imaging.

"Another major benefit is reduced duplication of facilities between the four previous sites. Money we save can be put back into improving services.

"I want to acknowledge the efforts of management and staff in putting together such a complex project. It has not been without difficulties, but the project also reflects the Government's commitment to strong public services in partnership with local communities," said Ms King.

ENDS


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