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Tauranga Hospital redevelopment approved

Tauranga Hospital redevelopment approved

The $110 million redevelopment of Tauranga Hospital has been fully approved, Health Minister Annette King said today in a joint announcement with Labour Party list MP for Tauranga Margaret Wilson.

Annette King and Margaret Wilson, who have worked together closely on the project, say they are delighted the Government can make such a substantial commitment to the future of Tauranga Hospital and to the people of the district.

Margaret Wilson says: “The Western Bay of Plenty district is one of the fastest-growing communities in New Zealand, with its growing population of older people exceeding the national average. People in the community rightly expect their hospital to expand to meet their growing health needs and to deliver quality modern health care. This $110 million redevelopment meets those expectations.”

Bay of Plenty District Health Board will begin work immediately on the redevelopment, which will be fully completed in February 2009.

Annette King and Margaret Wilson paid particular tribute to the enthusiasm and hard work of DHB chair Mary Hackett, the board, chief executive Ron Dunham and his management team and DHB staff. “All major hospital projects undergo rigorous scrutiny by the National Capital Committee. Boards must present detailed, high quality proposals. This board has passed that tough test and the community can be confident the project will be the best possible.

“The redevelopment is the largest public health project in the Bay of Plenty since the current hospital was built in the 1960s. It has been more than a generation since any Government has such a commitment to the health needs of the Tauranga and Bay of Plenty communities,” they said.

“When the project is finished, wards will no longer be stretched at busy times, the hospital will have modern plant and equipment, and the DHB will be able to adopt best modern practice models of care, such as moving to more day case surgery.”

Ms King said the Government is in the middle of the largest public hospital upgrade programme ever undertaken in New Zealand, with this year’s budget bringing to $802 million the amount of capital available for upgrades over five years. “This project follows recent announcements on the redevelopments of Waikato, Thames, Kaitaia, Dunstan and Wairarapa hospitals, and there is also provision for a new hospital in Horowhenua. “There is sometimes criticism, from those opposed to investing in our hospital infrastructure, that bricks and mortar don’t make a health system. I reject that. Top quality hospitals are vital if we are to provide quality hospital services.

“The Tauranga project is a long-term one and the community can be confident that all the money required has now been set aside for the entire life of the project”.

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