Auckland, August 23, 2018
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a $305 million investment to upgrade and repair essential infrastructure at Auckland District Health Board.
“Our public health service is staffed by an incredibly skilled and dedicated workforce.
To deliver the high quality services that all Kiwis deserve they in turn deserve facilities they can rely on,” she said.
“It is no secret that our hospitals have been underfunded for many years. That has left us a legacy of deferred maintenance and aging infrastructure that we can no longer ignore,” Ms Ardern said.
She said that her government had allocated $750 million in Budget 2018 for new funding for capital projects.
“Today I am announcing that $275 million of that will be spent at Auckland City Hospital, Starship Hospital and the Greenlane Clinical Centre. Auckland DHB will invest a further $30 million over the next three years.
“This is a huge investment and will ensure the DHB can continue to deliver safe, quality care to its 500,000 patients,” Ms Ardern said.
The Upgrade Programme
The programme of work will include lift upgrades, new fire protection systems, new electrical substations and water storage. The project will also improve energy efficiency and help reduce operating costs.
Health Minister Dr David Clark said this is much-needed work on the often invisible infrastructure that keeps the DHB’s major hospitals running.
Impact of investment
“While patients, whanau and staff may not immediately see a lot of difference as a result of this remediation programme, it will mean fewer operational failures, greater efficiency and responsiveness, and improved safety and resilience.
“This work will provide a foundation for the DHB to plan for the future healthcare needs of its communities. It is a necessary precursor for any future development of the Auckland City Hospital and Greenlane Clinical Centre sites,” he said.
Dr Clark said that today’s announcement is important for the people of Auckland.
More to be done
“But there is no question that further investment will be needed to deal with a backlog of building issues nationwide and a growing population. This is a Government that is committed to our public health service and is prepared to invest in its future so that it is there when people need it,” he Clark said.
Auckland Hospital image by Dan Cook for RNZ