Wellington property developer bankrolls new $50m children’s hospital

Wellington property developer Mark Dunajtschik will bankroll a new $50 million Wellington children’s hospital.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman made the announcement this morning at the Wellington city hospital where a heads of agreement was signed by Mr Dunajtschik and Capital and Coast DHB officials.

“Mr Dunajtschik is a successful businessman with a big heart and his offer to build a new children’s hospital for Wellington is extraordinarily generous,” Dr Coleman says.

He says gestures on this scale are extremely rare.

This development will benefit the 4000 children and their families admitted to child health services at Wellington Regional Hospital each year, as well as more than 5000 children who attend nearly 38,000 outpatient appointments.

Some of the details are yet to be confirmed but at this stage it is known the new hospital is expected to be 7000sq m, and is likely to be three floors tall.

It will have 50 inpatient hospital beds, as well as space for families to be together.

Mr Coleman says the existing child hospital and outpatient services will move into the new hospital. The services and staffing levels are expected to remain the same.

Mr Dunajtschik and his team will now work alongside health board clinical teams to design a fit-for-purpose, family-centred hospital for the region’s children.

The new hospital will be built on the Wellington Region Hospital campus. Construction is expected to start early next year and will take around 18 months.

“Mr Dunajtschik has said his philosophy is that people blessed with a sound mind and body can look after themselves but those born with or suffering illness and disability need our support,” Dr Coleman says.

Capital and Coast board chief executive Debbie Chin this morning said her organisation has been working on a long-term plan for child health service.

“[This included] a new hospital but building wasn’t going to start for several years. Mr Dunajtschik's generosity means we’ll get the hospital much sooner.”

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