$80m hospital facility for Taranaki

The government has opened a multi-million dollar health facility in Taranaki, which aims to meet the current and future health needs of the region.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says the opening of a new, modern and user-friendly facility in Taranaki, they call Project Maunga, will improve experiences for both patients and staff.

“The new development will ensure the 109,000 people living in Taranaki continue to receive better, faster, and more convenient care in the future” Mr Ryall says.

“With six new operating theatres, this new facility will make it easier for Taranaki DHB to provide more hip, knee and other elective surgery for the community.”

He says innovations such as electronic touch screen inpatient whiteboards will improve how patients move through different departments for treatment and diagnostics tests.

The investment includes a 14,000 square metre building with new outpatient surgery services, 60 medical beds, 60 surgical beds, a state-of-the-art sterile services department, as well as other key additions.

Taranaki District Health Board chief executive Tony Foulkes says this is very exciting for the people of Taranaki.

“I am extremely grateful for the level of commitment and enthusiasm from everyone involved that has resulted in a modern fit-for-purpose hospital that will serve our community for many years to come.”

“Project Maunga is not just about bricks and mortar, it is about hospital services working with primary care and other community based services to offer better care for the Taranaki people, and I hope something that the whole community can be proud of,” Mr Foulkes added.

The Taranaki DHB serves a population of 104,280 people and has an ageing population.

Mr Ryall says this hospital upgrade is part of a nationwide initiative to improve public hospitals.

“This includes the $83 million revamp at Rotorua Hospital, the new $190 million clinical services block at Middlemore Hospital, the $67 million Whakatane Hospital redevelopment, and the $27 million East Wing redevelopment at Tauranga Hospital.”

Jason Walls is an AUT journalism student