The Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) is welcoming the Government's announcement to back its facility redevelopment plans for Burwood and Christchurch Hospitals.
Bruce Matheson, CDHB chair, says today's announcement is very pleasing news after many years of planning.
"A new hospital complex in the city is a key component of Christchurch's future and this, together with fast-tracked redevelopment of Burwood Hospital to provide a facility designed for older people is very good news for the people of Canterbury," Mr Matheson says.
"Our focus between now and December will be developing the detailed business cases for both projects. To speed things up the design process will being carried out at the same time."
David Meates, CDHB chief executive, says the quakes accelerated the urgency to proceed with the redevelopments.
"The Government's announcement today gives us clarity and direction to move forward. This will also help us prioritise repairs to damaged buildings," Mr Meates says.
Cantabrians have a one-off opportunity to lead the country, and the world in showing how a modern, integrated healthy city can and should function.
The CDHB has been working with clinical teams over the past few years designing and implementing new ways of working and planning hospital buildings that will allow health professionals to provide quality care to patients.
"At the moment we are very much making do with what we have, however, today's news provides an opportunity to create a new future with facilities that support the very best patient care," Mr Meates says.
"We have a head start, as we have been planning for this day for over five years. Clinicians have been an integral part of the process to date and their important input will continue - as will the involvement of everyone who works in our health system including those who use our services – patients and their families.
This is the biggest public health construction project to be undertaken in New Zealand, and we are very conscious of our responsibility to get value for money and deliver on time, he says.
"As a tertiary hospital we provide complex care for patients from throughout the South Island and for some services the lower part of the North Island, who will all benefit from modern, crack-free buildings.
"Getting the green light today is a remarkable achievement for the clinical and management teams involved in the redevelopment project. It's an absolute credit to the commitment they have shown despite many challenges, including multiple earthquakes and disruptions," Mr Meates says.
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