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Minister marks Tauranga Hospital centenary

Minister marks Tauranga Hospital centenary

Health Minister Tony Ryall today joined hundreds in Tauranga to celebrate Tauranga Hospital's centenary.

"Tauranga Hospital has a proud history of providing excellent healthcare to generations of Bay of Plenty families,” says Mr Ryall.

“Over the past 100 years, the hospital has undergone a remarkable transformation. It now covers 58,000 square metres and employs 2300 staff. The average bed occupancy today is 307, the average length of stay is four days, and it now costs $250 million a year to run.

“The hospital has the distinction of being the first in the country to have all of its 10 inpatient wards complete the Releasing Time To Care Programme. This programme aims to free up nurses' time which they can then spend one-on-one with patients, greatly improving quality of care.

“It was officially opened on 6 March 1914 by the Inspector-General of Hospitals, Dr T.H.A Valentine. The opening coincided with the year of first motor vehicle accident recorded in Tauranga - 11 years after the first sighting of a car in the town.
“Originally, the hospital had six beds, and the average length of stay was 17 days. It was run by four staff who lived on site, at a cost of the equivalent of $17,511 per year,” says Mr Ryall.

Mr Ryall also visited the hospital's acute Stroke Unit, which opened in January last year and has been performing above national benchmarks for patient treatment.

“By working closely with ambulance, emergency department and radiology services, the hospital has reduced or removed many of the barriers preventing stroke patients to get the treatment they need. This includes delays in getting to hospital, and in recognising stroke symptoms,” says Mr Ryall.

“I’m grateful of the opportunity to share in this significant milestone in the hospital’s rich history, and I look forward to many more milestones to come,” says Mr Ryall.

In addition to visiting the hospital, Mr Ryall also opened a new redevelopment of Ocean Shores Retirement Village, and shared morning tea with the residents.


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