The Akaroa community and Canterbury DHB's commitment to a 12 bed facility for Akaroa has been confirmed.
The board has approved a Heads of Agreement between Canterbury DHB, the Akaroa Community Trust and Akaroa Health Hub Limited.
The board also noted the Akaroa Structure Group's commitment to contribute $2.5 million over four years and its own proposal to proceed with development.
Murray Cleverley, Canterbury DHB chairman, says the board has remained committed to ensuring the Akaroa community could find a solution to ensure sustainable health services, after the February 22, 2011 earthquake caused significant damage to the old hospital.
"I'm absolutely thrilled Canterbury DHB and the Akaroa Structure Group are working together to develop the new facility," Mr Cleverley says.
A model of care is being developed with the Akaroa health providers and community that will underpin a service contract with the proposed new provider.
Mr Cleverley says the Canterbury DHB will own the facility and provide a lease to the proposed community service provider Akaroa Health Hub Limited.
"At this stage there's still a bit of preliminary work to do around obtaining resource consents and getting the designs finalised.
"But on the basis of the community's intended contribution of $2.5 million, Canterbury DHB has awarded tenders for the design, which the users will have input into."
Mr Cleverley acknowledged a solution for Akaroa has been a long time in the making.
"This was one of those situations we couldn't rush and we appreciate the community's patience and resilience to find a solution that works best for everyone because the biggest waste of health dollars is building facilities that aren't fit for purpose and don't meet the needs of the community," he says.
"We think the collaborative efforts to work closely with the community will ensure we get this right."
Alan Bradford, Akaroa Structure Group chairman, says they're delighted a Heads of Agreement has been reached and plans are coming together.
"We are very grateful that the Canterbury DHB has continued to support us in the time since we lost our old Hospital and we are looking forward to working closely with them in the future.
"It's really exciting to have something finally locked in to work towards.
"We want the best for our community. A special thanks to all those in the Structure Group who have given so much time to ensure that Akaroa and the Community will get a fit for purpose medical facility that we can all be very proud of.
"We're extremely positive we will reach our $2.5 million target, as there's incredible support from the community to get there."
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