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Source: New Zealand Government

The Government has delivered a new hospital for Greymouth and is starting work on a much needed new health centre in Westport, ensuring local communities will benefit from better access to high quality integrated health services.

Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare officially open Te Nikau Hospital and Health Centre in Greymouth and turn the first sod at the Buller Health Centre site in Westport.

“We want all New Zealanders to enjoy better health and wellbeing. Improving our hospitals and other health infrastructure is an important part of this,” says Jacinda Ardern.

“We’re committed to tackling this long term challenge – the Government has invested a record $3.5 billion to improve our health facilities. The Coast has benefited from some of this investment and we’ve provided additional funding to finish Te Nikau.

“I know West Coasters waited a long time, however, hospitals are challenging and complex builds. It is fantastic people are now benefiting from this state-of-the-art facility which has been operating smoothly since it accepted its first patients in July.

“The $121.9 million facility was purpose built for the environment on the Coast and the design is future proofed to support new models of care and integrated services.

“I want to acknowledge all those involved in the project, from the design team, the West Coast DHB, to all the contractors working with Fletcher Construction, the Ministry of Health and the West Coast Partnership Group,” said Jacinda Ardern.

Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare says Te Nikau Hospital and Health Centre will benefit patients, whānau, visitors and staff for many years to come.

“The 8,500 sqm facility has 56 inpatients beds, a 24/7 emergency department (ED), critical care unit, acute and planned medical and surgical services, maternity care, radiology, lab services, paediatrics, outpatients and a pharmacy,” says Peeni Henare.

“The health centre supports more integrated primary and secondary services and a new triage reception ensures people are seen as soon as possible by the right team, whether it’s general practice or the ED. 

“There are state of the art facilities in radiology and ED while the critical care unit has larger patient bays and a negative pressure room for respiratory care.

“In maternity, specialised birthing suites have a more home-like environment. There are also fit for purpose spaces for assessment, treatment and rehabilitation, including four transitional care units,” said Peeni Henare.

The Prime Minister also visited the new Buller Health Centre site to see the progress being made and to turn the first sod.

“This new 12-bed facility will house a range of services including general practice, patient rooms, maternity, palliative care and 24/7 urgent care,” says Jacinda Ardern.

“I want to acknowledge the significant role the local community played in advocating for changes to the design. The Government took the feedback on board, announcing in November 2018, a new $20 million facility with a larger footprint.

“This modern fit for purpose facility will make a real difference. People in Westport will have access to improved high quality care.”

Peeni Henare says the Government approved up to $1 million in additional funding in July to enable demolition works and asbestos removal to start. Construction, which will take about 18 months, is due to begin February 2021.

“This new facility will also include the DHB’s community services, Māori health service and mental health service. Clinical services will be supported by radiology and laboratory services on the same site.

“The co-location of teams will foster a collaborative approach which will provide improved care and a better patient experience,” said Peeni Henare.