The new home for the Akaroa Health Centre was officially opened today by Canterbury District Health Board chief executive David Meates.In December the Health Centre was forced to move out of its previous location at Akaroa Hospital as a consequent of earthquake damage and following an engineering report.
The report showed the hospital's seismic capacity had been severely reduced and was below the minimum standards. Since losing its premises the Health Centre has been operating out of the Heartlands Community Centre in Rue Lavaud.
Mr Meates says today's move represents a welcome return of health services to the hospital site.
"We are still assessing the type of services to best meet the future health needs of people in the area and this requires a lot of listening and planning so we can develop a solution to meet the needs of the Akaroa community," Mr Meates says.
"The $180,000 spent on the new premises is the first step in reinvesting in the region's health services."
Around 200 buildings and at least 12,000 out of 14,000 rooms owned by CDHB have sustained seismic damage and require repairs or strengthening upgrades.
"Across Canterbury we are faced with huge repair bills and we need to take time to do the right thing to ensure sustainable services and the best models of care for the Akaroa community," Mr Meates says.
Dr Suzanne Knapp, Akaroa Health Centre General Practitioner, says the challenge is for the community to work positively together towards the long term solution.
"Despite our loss of the Akaroa Hospital building, we look forward to a bright and exciting future," Dr Knapp says.
The new health centre has been incorporated into the original garage on site. The work has involved almost a complete rebuild to increase the floor space and transform it into a suitable health centre. It has all new windows and doors, new roof, fully lined and insulated new plumbing, electrics, heating, and fire alarms. The health centre includes a reception, two consultation rooms, a nurse's room and an acute care room.
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