Hospital picks clinicians’ least preferred option for new build
Christchurch Hospital is pushing ahead with a new $150m medical tower block despite its own doctors pleading that it’s far too small.
The five-storey tower will be more than half empty because the DHB does not have enough money to put beds in it.
The hospital’s bed shortage is among the worst in the country. It has demolished more than 40 buildings since the 2011 earthquake.
It is the busiest trauma centre nationwide.
Its medical specialists have pleaded for two towers: Tower 3 with six floors of wards within five years, and a Tower 4 shortly after. The new Acute Services Hagley building already has two towers.
Its Clinical Leaders Group took part in 300 meetings spanning three years, and five reviews of patient demand, alongside the board, management, and Health Ministry.
An OIA showed that at one meeting, the Health Minister and Director-General of health were told that health “service failure is almost inevitable”, and if “we fail, New Zealand fails”.
“We can no longer manage clinical risk with any confidence,” the leaders group told David Clark and Dr Ashley Bloomfield.
“Timelines for new facilities are already too late to match demand.”
But now, the new board – voted in just last October – has gone against the clinical leaders’ pleadings.
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