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Wairarapa and Dunstan Hospitals redevelopments

15 December 2003 Media Statement

Wairarapa and Dunstan Hospitals redevelopments approved

Health Minister Annette King today announced approval for substantial redevelopments at Wairarapa and Dunstan Hospitals totalling almost $35 million.

Ms King says funding has been approved for Wairarapa District Health Board’s plans for a $27.2 million redevelopment at Masterton Hospital.

“Redevelopment of this hospital is long overdue. The investment will enable the Wairarapa DHB to provide affordable, quality health care that meets the needs of its community.

“Wairarapa DHB has developed an innovative model of service delivery involving increased use of primary health services in the hospital setting, as well as increased use of hospital staff in primary care and in the community. The result will be a clinically safe and financially sound hospital,” she said.

“The partnerships with GPs, the community and neighbouring DHBs for the benefit of the people of Wairarapa offer a model for other DHBs to consider.”

Ms King said approval of the business case means that Wairarapa can look forward to a new integrated 37-bed unit for medical and surgical patients, a new unit for obstetrics and neo-natal services, a new six-bed integrated intensive care/coronary care unit, a new emergency department, new outpatient clinics, and a new eight-bed day procedure unit.

“A feature of the DHB’s master plan is better use of modern technology to enable more efficient and better use of communication with specialists from neighbouring hospitals. The positive comments made by independent reviewers on the Wairarapa proposal are a credit to the team at Wairarapa DHB.”

Ms King says $7.6M is also being made available to the Otago District Health Board (DHB) for its plans to redevelop Dunstan Hospital in Central Otago.

“Ever since Otago MP David Parker took me to visit Dunstan Hospital last year, I have been convinced of the urgent need to redevelop a hospital that was given such a low priority during the 1990s,” Ms King said.

“I am really pleased that I am able to make an announcement before Christmas as I promised. The redevelopment will mean new hospital wings for in-patient services, outpatients and community services.

“The redevelopment will secure a quality future for a hospital greatly in need of investment. The hospital will be rebuilt by Otago District Health Board, which will work closely with the local community.”

Ms King said the Wairarapa and Dunstan decisions demonstrated the Government’s commitment to providing long-term strong public health services at both hospitals in partnership with local communities. Work will begin immediately on finalising designs for both hospitals, and construction will start in 2004.

The National Capital Committee (NCC) is meeting again this week to consider several other proposals to move them to the next stage of approval. “These include Waikato and Thames Hospitals, Tauranga Hospital and Kaitaia Hospital.

“All these boards have done a substantial amount of excellent work in developing their business plans, and I’m delighted with what they are doing, and with the fair and transparent process we have developed through the NCC.”

ENDS

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