Southern DHB says fast-tracking a key part of the New Dunedin Hospital is an exciting development which will benefit patients and staff.

Minister of Health David Clark today announced that the new hospital will be constructed in two stages.

The smaller outpatient and day surgery building will be completed first, followed by the larger inpatient building.

Southern DHB has been closely involved in the planning around this new approach with a key focus being the need to relieve pressure on the existing Dunedin Hospital.

“This is an exciting day for Southern DHB as we can now look forward to new day surgery theatres being built earlier than anticipated,” Chief Executive Chris Fleming says.

“In the existing hospital the restrictions on day surgery capacity, and the knock-on effects, are among the biggest challenges we face.”

Dunedin Hospital user groups have been closely involved in the building’s planning and staff engagement will continue in 2019 to ensure it meets the needs of the Southern health system.

Fleming acknowledges there is a time delay before the new theatres are up and running in 2023.

However it is vital to get this key component of the New Dunedin Hospital right through a rigorous design and engagement process before construction can begin in 2020.

“Of course we would like to have some new day surgery theatres tomorrow but we have to be realistic about the complexity of the task.

“In the meantime it is hoped that work to improve patient flow and other initiatives under way, including the primary and community strategy, will improve efficiency and ease the pressure on surgical capacity.

“With this decision, concurrent with this planning, we will now turn our attention to what we can do to improve the existing facilities to best meet our needs between now and 2023.

“This will include infrastructural improvements and where possible supplementing capacity.”

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