Hospital plan 'secrecy' upsets pair

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 05:00 19/11/2012
andrew
Canterbury District Health Board member Andrew Dickerson.

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Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) members want to know why they are not being consulted on a business case for Christchurch's $600 million hospital redevelopment.

Board members Chris Mene and Andrew Dickerson are querying if they will get to see a copy of the detailed business case and whether the redevelopment partnership group will "continue to meet in secret".

The proposed redevelopment of Christchurch and Burwood hospitals has been in discussion since 2007.

The work has become more urgent since Canterbury's earthquakes, which caused more than $100m damage to the region's hospital facilities.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee announced on September 4 the Government had approved $10m to support final business cases for the redevelopment of both hospitals, and a partnership group was established to fast-track the process.

CDHB chairman Bruce Matheson, Ngai Tahu Property chief executive Tony Sewell and Auckland DHB chief medical officer of health Margaret Wilsher were appointed to the group, along with chairman Evan Davies, the managing director of Todd Property Group and chairman of the National Health Board's capital investment committee.

A detailed business case for the redevelopment is scheduled to be presented to the Government on December 21, including a final price tag for the project - expected to cost about $600m.

Matheson said a Cabinet paper would then be written and "discussed and hopefully agreed to" by February. "By then we will know the models, the values and the structure and things like that, that have been approved. We're probably not looking at completion until 2018."

It was not known how long the partnership group would be involved in the redevelopment, he said.

It has been appointed until at least March.

"The question is whether that group has involvement until [2018] or if this board has a greater involvement after March. I don't think the group would want to be involved for the next five years or that that would be appropriate," he said.

Mene wondered if the board would receive a copy of the detailed business case before or on December 21.

"We need to be informed at least, it's the minimum level of engagement we need."

Dickerson asked when the board would meet the partnership group "or will they continue to meet in secret".

"It doesn't feel like they're in partnership with the board . . . All I'm asking really is that they engage in an open and fair manner."

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Matheson said the group did not work in secrecy.

- The Press

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