Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland, which has been a subject of concern and public criticism, is to get a new lease of life with improved services.
The country’s busiest hospital will get a state-of-the-art Acute Dialysis and Cardiac Service, following the approval of $14.6 million in additional funding announced last week.
Increased patient intake
Health Minister Dr David Clark said that the Government has approved a proposal of the Counties Manukau District Health Board to self-fund the amount.
He said that the Hospital will have a High Dependency Dialysis Unit and an expanded Cardiac Catheter Laboratory Services at the Middlemore Hospital.
“This will make a difference to the lives of more than 100 seriously unwell people every week. I am pleased to approve this Project,” Dr Clark said.
Exceptionally long waiting lists for patient diagnosis, consultation and treatment, under-resourced staff and services and structural damages to the building complex have been problems affecting the Hospital.
The previous National-led government has been accused of neglecting the needs of the District Health Boards in general and that of the Counties Manukau Health Board in particular.
Dr Clark agreed.
“The District Health Board has high health needs, particularly amongst Maori and Pacific communities and we know this investment will make a big difference to both patients and staff. Last year, Counties Manukau DHB High Dependency Dialysis Service, which currently has 20 beds, treated up to 92 patients a week. This upgrade and expansion will deliver an extra six beds, which means that an additional 24 patients can be treated each week,” he said.
Dr Clark said that the new investment will also help in building a second Cardiac Catheter Laboratory, providing more specialised procedures for people with acute and long-term cardiac conditions.
Leading cause of death
He said that Coronary Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in the Northern Region and that more than 1500 patients were treated in the Cath Lab of the DHB last year. Hence, a second procedure room will help in carrying out more life-saving procedures more swiftly and in reducing the need for further care in the future.
$1.7 billion investment
“Modern, fit-for-purpose health facilities play a key role in ensuring that New Zealanders get the care they need to improve their health and wellbeing. We are investing $1.7 billion in this year’s Wellbeing Budget for DHB Hospital Projects,” Dr Clark said.
Read our Leader, ‘Our District Health Boards need emergency treatment’ under Viewlink.
(RNZ Picture by Claire Eastham-Farrelly) Inset Health Minister Dr David Clark