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November, 2019

The upgrade of Lakes District Hospital is complete but at its opening
this month Southern District Health Board chief executive Chris Fleming
said it was "an interim step on the journey".

The two-stage upgrade, which started in October last year, came with a
total price tag of $9.3million, funded by the Southern District Health
Board,up from the initial $6.5million budgeted.
DHB senior communications adviser Vanessa Barratt said the additional
$2.8million covered fittings, fixtures, equipment, upgrading fire systems
and related project costs, such as management and consents.
The Frankton hospital now has a new emergency department, a Siemens
Go Top 128 slice CT scanner, a new waiting area, triage and consulting
areas, a medical students' training room, plaster bay and
decontamination area and has received a "much needed" upgrade of the
heating and cooling systems.
However, speaking at the official opening, Mr Fleming said while it was
a "really important step", there was more to do.
"The future is ... at its core, about partnerships and all the healthcare
providers and agencies and funders working together as one team."
He said Wakatipu was "a little bit like a gold rush town".
"There's wealth dripping everywhere, but underneath there is a real
need and a lot of parts of the community that have a lot of challenges.
"[We are] looking across the wider area to ensure a network of care,
drawing upon the strengths of our primary care providers.
"We need to look at this in terms of a wider care network."
Mr Fleming said the DHB was looking at opportunities as they arose - the
most obvious being Southern Cross and the Central Lakes Trust's recent
partnership with Sanderson Group, developers of Queenstown Country
Club where a private hospital is planned.
He said "in the spirit of getting the balance of access to services and
also [with] a strong desire to have ... a robust public health services",
the DHB was looking at how it could partner with the joint-venture to
enhance access to public health services.
"Charting a pathway forward requires a partnership with the community.
"We can't achieve anything unless we've got the engagement and the
partnership moving forward.
"Certainly, there's more work to do to make this part of the world an
even better place to live and we all need to play our part."
Health Minister David Clark acknowledged the contribution of the
Central Lakes Trust, which gave $1,173,299 towards the cost of the new
CT scanner, and the Lakes District Hospital Foundation for its
fundraising efforts.
"It's the thing that makes those extra services available that will benefit
the community.
"Funding that new CT scanner ... will help improve health outcomes for
people here, make no bones about it."
Dr Clark said while Wakatipu was "one of the most beautiful places in
the world" it had its own challenges, including rapid population and
tourism growth and the distance to secondary and tertiary health
"We know that there will have to be future planning for the services and
interaction with what's going on locally, in terms of setting up new
facilities, and the public system will also have to change and grow over
time for the expanding community here in Queenstown."
SDHB commissioner Kathy Grant said already there could be up to 1200
emergency department presentations a month at Lakes District
Hospital, which led to about 90 transfers to secondary or tertiary
hospitals and, to date, 529 CT scans had been done at the hospital.

Source: Otago Daily Times


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