The Government has approved $154 million in funding for the construction of a third tower at Waipapa, the new Acute Services Building at Christchurch Hospital.
“Like all DHBs across the country, Canterbury is facing growing demand for services. It’s important the DHB can plan ahead to ensure New Zealanders continue to receive the high quality care they need in the future,” said Health Minister, Andrew Little.
“While Waipapa, the state of the art $525 million Acute Services Building, has just recently opened and will improve health outcomes for people in Canterbury and the wider South Island for decades to come, the next campus redevelopment stage needs to be progressed,” the Minister said.
“The DHB’s growing and ageing population means more inpatient beds will be required. The new third tower will eventually include 160 inpatient beds. As all the beds won’t be required immediately, a staged approach to the fit-out is expected to be taken, with 64 beds initially available.”
A number of buildings on the Christchurch Hospital campus site require seismic remediation works. The Government has also approved the DHB’s compliance works business case in principle, enabling the most urgent works to be progressed. Initial estimates are that this work will require investment of $80m.
“As a first step, it’s been agreed Canterbury DHB will self-fund $21 million to address the most urgent works on Parkside so the DHB can continue to operate the building safely and while additional capacity is built at Waipapa.”
“Further work is needed to confirm the scope and costings of the full project. The DHB will work with the Ministry of Health to refine the project prior to submitting a final revised business case.
“We all recognise work is needed to improve the building conditions and the clinical environment at Parkside, however the project also requires a staged approach. Patients will continue to be treated while work is underway. Careful planning will ensure minimal impact on patients, whānau and staff.
“Today, I also reinforced to the Board and senior leaders that the DHB needs to continue to improve its financial sustainability, which will enable and support future redevelopment projects.
“The DHB received $180 million in equity support from the Government last month to maintain its cashflow and continue to operate,” Mr Little said.