North Island hospitals get funding boost

By Regan Paranihi

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a funding boost for Whangarei Hospital and Auckland’s North Shore Hospital.

The investment will see a $224mil boost to the two hospitals, with 120 additional surgery beds and four operating theaters for North Shore and a new endoscopy and cardiac care facilities for Whangarei Hospital.

Arden says, “This investment will make a real difference to patients and their families and to staff working at the frontline after years of under-funding of facilities in the northern region."

The government will invest more than $200mil in a new elective surgery unit at North Shore Hospital and $24mil in new endoscopy and cardiac care capacity at Whangarei Hospital.

Ardern says this project coincides with the promise the coalition government made to ensure New Zealanders have access to the healthcare they deserve.

“We set aside a record $750 million in this year’s Budget as a first step to rebuilding New Zealand’s hospitals so it’s pleasing to be delivering on our promise.”

Health Minister David Clark says, “This is a significant investment which will serve the needs of Auckland’s rapidly growing population for years to come.”

The funding package for Whangarei Hospital DHB would provide for interim surgical and endoscopy facilities over the next ten years while the longer term redevelopment of the hospital is planned.

“The new cardiac catheter lab will mean fewer avoidable deaths through improved cardiac care for Northlanders and represents a significant opportunity to improve equity of outcomes,” says Clark.

The government has now invested $500mil into the health sector since Budget 2018.

Update on capital investments from Budget 2018

  • $275mil for Auckland DHB to address significant infrastructure challenges at Auckland City Hospital and Greenlane Clinical Centre.
  • $8mil for individualised service units at Capital and Coast DHB for high needs intellectual disability and mental health patients.
  •   $200mil for a new elective surgery unit at Waitematā’s North Shore Hospital.
  • $24mil for new endoscopy and cardiac care capacity at Northland’s Whangarei Hospital.