Greymouth hospital repair plans fast-tracked
The Government will fast-track plans to rebuild the ageing Grey Base Hospital.
The Greymouth hospital has suffered this year after engineers found the critical care unit, day surgery unit, the maternity ward, and the medical administration were earthquake-prone.
All services had to relocate causing disruption for staff and patients. The hospital's laundry also had to close.
Health Minister Tony Ryall today announced the formation of a hospital redevelopment partnership group that would oversee the redevelopment project.
He hoped the plans for the revamped hospital would be complete by April.
The Government would put $1 million towards the group's work and had already provided $2 million to the West Coast District Health Board for emergency repairs to earthquake-prone hospital facilities.
''Grey Base Hospital needs to be fixed. It has ageing facilities and has significant seismic issues and the Government wants to see this happen as soon as possible," he said.
He said the group would be able to cut years off the redevelopment process.
The members of the group are Cathy Cooney, the chairwoman and former chief executive of the Lakes District DHB in Rotorua, chief medical officer at Counties District DHB Gloria Johnson, Tim Molloy, chairman of the General Practice Leaders Forum and Peter Ballantyne, acting chairman of West Coast DHB.
"The government wants to ensure West Coast DHB has all the support it needs in order to do that, while also being an integral part of the redevelopment,'' Ryall said.
The partnership group would work in the same way as the Canterbury hospital redevelopment group that is speeding up the rebuild of Christchurch and Burwood hospitals.
He said the group would take a ''regional approach in light of the much closer relationship between the West Coast and Canterbury''.
"The Partnership Group will be working to ensure all plans take a regional approach in light of the much closer relationship between the West Coast and Canterbury," Ryall said.
The partnership group would develop the final business plan and fast-track plans as well as considering ways to speed up the Buller Health redevelopment, he said.
A West Coast DHB spokesman said plans for a hospital redevelopment had been in the pipeline for about five years.
He said the project was expected to cost about $50 to $60m but figures had not been finalised.