Canterbury Charity Hospital reopens after refurbishment
The newly-renovated Canterbury Charity Hospital will be officially opened on Tuesday following a $400,000 makeover.
New features to be unveiled by Governor-General Sir Jerry Mataparae include more recovery beds, a new reception area and upgraded staff facilities, as well as the purchase of an adjacent house which will eventually house patients overnight.
The renovations, carried out by Leighs Construction, cost about $400,000 and began in April.
Tuesday's official opening will also celebrate the work done by more than 300 people who volunteer at the hospital, including nurses, doctors, anaesthetists and support staff.
Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust chairman and volunteer surgeon Philip Bagshaw said they were honoured to have Mataparae, who was also a patron of the hospital's trust, help mark the occasion.
The hospital, which relies solely on donations, has been performing elective surgeries since 2007 for people who do not qualify for public health waiting lists and cannot afford the cost of private health care.
Surgeries performed at the Bishopdale facility include those on hernias, cataracts and varicose veins, which are no longer funded by the public sector.
"Our much larger recovery ward will give us more space for our patients so we can increase the number of surgeries we perform on any one day," Bagshaw said.
"The unmet need through the public health system continues to grow and we are very excited about being able to help more people with what is often very simple but life changing operations.
The hospital has performed more than 2000 procedures since Mataparae's last visit in 2012, when he opened a new building which included a facility for colonoscopies and a dental clinic.
The clinic allowed non-urgent root canal, extractions and filling work to be carried out for Work and Income clients.
One volunteer in particular, Sylvester the cat, helps calm some patients before surgery or during counselling. Sylvester is also used as a fundraising tool to help raise the $750,000 a year needed to keep the hospital open.
Last year he starred in his own children's book, written by poet Julie Hutton and illustrated by Garrick Tremain.
Donations for the Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust can be made online at charityhospital.org.nz/donations/