The Minister of Health, Hon Dr David Clark, officially opened the redevelopment of Lakes District Hospital in Queenstown today.
The opening marks the completion of the second stage of the $9.3m redevelopment that includes a new Emergency Department (ED) and refurbished outpatient clinic facilities.
The ED extension houses nine beds (including the existing seven), two resuscitation bays, a reception, waiting area, triage and consultation areas, a medical students' training room, plaster bay, decontamination area and an isolation room.
Stage one was completed in May this year with new Emergency Department opened, followed shortly afterwards by the installation of a new Siemens Go Top 128 slice scanner (CT scanner), only the second of its type to be installed in New Zealand and the first in a public hospital.
The new CT scanner has already performed 529 scans since it started operating in June. Access to this service has vastly reduced patient travel time and sped up diagnosis and treatment of a range of conditions including spinal and head injuries, cancer and stroke.
Population growth and increased tourism is increasing demand for emergency services in the region. There can be up to 1,200 Emergency Department presentations per month leading to approximately 90 transfers to secondary or tertiary hospitals.
Commissioner Kathy Grant says the redeveloped facility ensures that Queenstown has a hospital and ED that is fit for purpose and better placed to address the health needs of the growing population of the Queenstown Lakes District area in the medium term.
“This is an important step on a journey as we continue to strengthen health services in the fast-growing Central Lakes area.
“It means the community in Queenstown, so far from the facilities in major centres, are better able to be supported in an emergency, have their condition assessed, and be monitored or transferred as needed. And our staff have a better environment and are better supported to provide this care.
“They also have better facilities to provide follow up care, through telemedicine links and outpatient settings.
“We thank everyone who has supported this project, in particular the Lakes District Hospital Foundation and Central Lakes Trust for their generous contributions, and the team at Lakes District Hospital who have continued to deliver quality care during the redevelopment.”
The $9.3 million upgrade was funded by the Southern DHB.
This included $6.5 million construction costs, which were expanded to include a much needed upgrade of the heating and cooling systems.