The future of Waitakere Hospital is ON HOLD
The future of Waitakere Hospital is ON HOLD
Providing increased services and facilities at Waitakere Hospital won’t even be considered for funding again by the Government until 2024/25 financial years at the earliest…
Waitakere Health Link and Waitemata District Health Board have been working on a Master Plan for Waitakere Hospital since 2000 with the goal of becoming an Acute General Hospital. Incremental progress has been made since then with the opening of an Emergency Department 24/7.
The Waitemata District Health Board applied to the Ministry of Health for funding to continue the planned programme to extend Waitakere hospital services into the future and was unfairly declined.
The Ministry of Health advised it “does not believe it can make recommendations of the progression of the programme Business Case” submitted by the Waitemata District Health Board, and have deferred the future development of Waitakere Hospital to the new NZ Health Board entity.
The Ministry of Health letter also goes on to advise “The Waitakere Tranche One Business Case was not identified by the Northern Region DHBs as a priority for Budget 2022 funding (covering the financial years 2022/2023 and 2023/2024)”.
Waitakere Health Link believe that there is a lack of understanding of the urgency to meet the increased capacity needed to provide adequate services to the West Auckland population (a population that is deprived and one of the fastest growing in the country). Waitakere Hospital has the lowest bed numbers for the population at 1.2 per 1000 population (see table below). Given the equity focus, the Government and Ministry of Health have, West Auckland and Waitakere Hospital should be a priority.
Waitakere Health Link ask that the Waitakere Hospital Master Planning Programme Business Case be reinstated into the current financial year and funding approved before June 2022.
Comparisons with other Hospitals
The table below compares the number of hospital beds available in a region for its population. Beds/1000 means how many beds are available for every 1000 people. Waitakere Hospital rates the LOWEST…
Hospital Number of Beds Population Beds/1000
Waitakere Hospital 285 240,000 1.2
Middlemore Hospital 905 580,000 1.6
North Shore Hospital 680 390,000 1.7
Palmerston North 354 185,000 1.9
Hawke’s Bay 364 175,000 2.1
Hutt 322 155,000 2.1
Proposed Waitakere Hospital Master Planning Business Case
The proposed Business Case is a staged development over a number of years with expansion expected based on the Northern Region Long Term Investment Plan. Before progressing each stage, a business case would have to be developed, including updating information and providing justification that the original planned services are still needed at each stage. The current plan consists of:
Stage 1: Children, Women & Family Complex, Loading Dock, Back-of-House, Expansion of clinical support areas, Infrastructure (power, water, HVAC)
Stage 2: Marae, Staff Creche, ED reconfiguration, Education Centre, Front of House, Ambulatory Services, Radiology expansion, Theatre expansion
Stage 3: Second Energy Centre, Multi-story Car Park, Ambulatory Services, Inpatient Unit
Stage 4: Ambulatory Services, Inpatient Unit, ICU, Paediatrics, Gynaecology, Helipad
Stage 5: Ambulatory Services, Inpatient Unit, Community Services, ADU & Cardiology, New Mental Health Building
Both Waitakere Health Link and Waitemata District Health Board have invested substantial resources to plan for increased capacity at Waitakere Hospital and have worked with community to identify gaps and future needs of the local population. There is continued intensification of housing in West Auckland along with substantial deprivation requiring increased infrastructure in health to meet the current and future demand.
Upgrading and future proofing this hospital is well overdue. Maintenance has also become an issue with existing buildings not fit for purpose. Some infrastructure such as electrical are “crumbling” and desperately require an upgrade as it is not meeting the current needs.
The Special Care Baby Unit is currently being rebuilt to meet high local birth rates but had to be funded predominantly by philanthropic grants to the tune of $5m of a $6m total.
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