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Government approves Rotorua Hospital upgrade

24 October 2008 EMBARGOED 2.30pm Media Statement

Government approves investment of $38.2 million to complete Rotorua Hospital upgrade

Prime Minister Helen Clark today announced that the Government has approved the investment of $38.2 million to complete the upgrade of Rotorua Hospital as part of New Zealand’s largest ever health infrastructure programme.

Helen Clark said the Government is committing an extra $13.6 million and the Lakes District Health Board contributes $24.64 million from the public funds it holds.

Helen Clark said the investment announced today is part of a major project to rebuild and redevelop Rotorua and Taupo hospitals. A total of $89.5 million has now been committed by the Labour-led government to this Lakes Health Services Improvement Project.

“This major project, which was split into two stages, ensures that the District Health Board will be able to provide modern health services for its community for the next 15 to 20 years,” Helen Clark said.

“Today’s announcement effectively means that the project becomes a one-stage project because construction on stage two is expected to begin towards this end of this year, with the majority of new facilities being used from 2011.

"Over the last nine years, the Labour-led Government has committed to New Zealand’s largest ever hospital building and redevelopment programme with $1.6 billion invested. Seven new hospitals have been built since 2000 and eight refurbishments at hospital campuses,” Helen Clark said.

The upgraded Rotorua Hospital will include a new outpatients clinic, expanded cardiac care and intensive care units, and an acute medical ward with room for further expansion.

“The existing Clinical Services Building will undergo a major refit involving a major expansion to the emergency department, surgical ward, and operating theatre department including an additional theatre and day stay unit. The elderly assessment and rehabilitation ward will also be refurbished.

“The new emergency department will improve care and will result in shorter waiting times. The new facilities will mean a greater number of day surgery procedures will be possible in the future, with patients able to get the surgery they need sooner. The DHB predicts it could perform up to an additional 1,025 day procedures each year."

"The building will also bring together the emergency department and diagnostic services, so patients don’t have far to go if they need x-rays or lab tests. This will also make the jobs of the highly valued health staff easier,” Helen Clark said.


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