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West Coast DHB decides on Buller IFHC site

Embargo until midday Monday March 12

West Coast DHB decides on Buller Health site as location for new Integrated Family Health Centre

On Friday the West Coast District Health Board agreed that its preferred site for the proposed Buller Integrated Family Health Centre is the current Buller Health site.

Acting West Coast DHB Chair, Peter Ballantyne says “Following submissions and feedback we received a clear mandate from the community, health professionals and other interested parties that we should locate the proposed Buller Integrated Family Health Centre on a single site. Two site options were considered – the O’Conor Trust site and the current Buller Health site.

“The Board visited both sites and after careful consideration we concluded the current Buller Health site is a better option for the Buller community. Some of the factors influencing our decision included the site’s ease of access and its central location,” says Peter Ballantyne.

West Coast DHB Chief Executive, David Meates says, “The chance to develop a modern, fit for purpose facility is too good an opportunity to miss. However it is important to state this is not just about buildings – it’s about developing ways to look after the wider Buller community that will ensure the best services are provided. We already have an aging population. As the baby boomer generation ages, we need to plan for community healthcare needs increasing further and becoming more complex.

“By building a new facility on the current Buller site we will be able to provide the Buller community with a sustainable healthcare system that’s high quality and effective now and into the future. It is imperative that people living in this region, or contemplating moving here, have trust and confidence in the healthcare system. Today’s decision will give them both.

“I appreciate that the O’Conor Trust will be disappointed with our decision as they had hoped we would choose their site for the proposed Integrated Family Health Centre. We have appreciated their input into our decision making and we will continue to work with them as we progress the new facility.

“We will now investigate and confirm the funding and investment options arising from our decision. We will keep the community and key stakeholders informed. At this stage we hope to be able to tender for project management and building works in June, with building work commencing in September this year and finishing 12 months later,” says David Meates.


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