What does your job involve?
I’m an interventional cardiologist and I also specialise in TAVI (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation) and cardiac MRI.
To the lay person I am a heart specialist who also puts in stents, new heart valves and does specialised imaging of the heart.
How did you become involved in the user groups?
I’d previously had experience overseas with the latter stage of building a new hospital so I was quite keen to follow this project from the start. I’m also at the stage of my career where I feel that it’s very important to be involved in building the department that I intend to work in for the remainder of my career.
It’s been really good to be involved in different working groups and with different people from different specialities and understand their viewpoints.
The need for a long-term vision
I originally found it unusual that the planning was starting so far in advance. But seeing the amount of work that has gone into the planning stages, the level of detail we went into and the vision for what we might be doing in 10 years’ time,
I understood why and found it invaluable. It made me think about things I’d never had to think about before - for example, how different services interact and how they will interact in the future and the new technologies and procedures we may be doing
Was there anything that surprised you?
Most of the design planning and discovering the new technologies that are out there that we hadn’t thought about having in Dunedin. Most people were thinking about and planning the hospital that we wanted now, not the hospital we need in 10 years’ time that will see us through for another 30-40 years.
Are you excited about the new hospital?
I think it’s fabulous. It’s great that we get a say in what we want and what we’re going to work in.
Obviously we have an ageing population in Dunedin – that’s going to place a huge demand on cardiac services in the future so we’re having to think hard about that and plan for that.