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Funding boost gives impetus to critical child healthcare

31 January 2020


$25m government funding boost gives impetus to critical child healthcare project

Media Statement – The Starship Foundation welcomes the government’s $25m commitment to one of the most vital child healthcare projects – an approximately $35m upgrade to this country’s only dedicated paediatric intensive care unit.

“We are delighted to support the government’s upgrade programme to future-proof New Zealand,” says Starship Foundation Chief Executive Aisha Daji Punga. “This funding will help ensure our children will have the best intensive care facility possible.

“In addition to the government’s funding boost, the Starship Foundation is in the midst of an urgent campaign to raise in order of $10m to deliver a world-class paediatric intensive care unit.”

Starship’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) treats over 1,200 critically sick or injured children from around the country every year. With an ever-growing population and the increasing complexity of cases, demand on intensive care beds has reached unprecedented levels.

“With only 22 beds to service more than 1.25 million children, our paediatric intensive care unit is under increasing pressure,” says Dr Michael Shepherd, Director of Starship. “We are now facing a critical shortage, which means we often have two, or fewer, available beds, leaving limited capacity for emergency admissions. Staff often have to postpone planned surgeries and are placing beds in between existing ICU beds to cope. “

Daji Punga adds: “In our history there has never been anything as urgent, as vital, or as bold as this expansion project to ensure our children continue to receive the specialist care they need when they need it. This project is over and above our existing annual commitments to Starship.”

Shepherd continues: “The physical build is a huge challenge. The cost of building state-of-the-art medical facilities is significant. This is why the generosity of donors to raise an additional $10 million is so important – with the nation’s support, the new facility will be the best it can be for our children.”

To date, the Foundation has raised $1.5million towards the expansion project thanks to the generosity of donors. The first stage of the build for this project begins in early 2021.

If you would like to help support the Starship Foundation with this vital project, visit https://www.starship.org.nz/foundation/donate to donate.

ENDS


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