Extra funding approved for Middlemore Hospital building works

  • Hon Dr David Clark

Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government has approved an extra $11.5 million funding for building works at Middlemore Hospital.

The funding, which was signed off early this week, will be used for re-cladding work on the Scott Building which has issues with weathertightness, timber framing decay and related damage. The extra injection of funds takes the total cost of the project to $27.5 million.

“The Counties Manukau DHB is dealing with a number of leaky building issues that were first identified in 2012. It is disappointing that the previous Government did not make tackling these problems a priority.

“Our hospitals and health infrastructure have been neglected for too long. This Government will not sit back while patients are treated in decaying facilities.

“The DHB identified the Scott Building as its top priority. That’s why earlier this week the Government approved a revised business case for remediation work.

“The DHB has been managing this situation for some years and a range of investigations, remediation and safety measures have been adopted. But more work is obviously required and I will be seeking answers directly from the DHB about its plan to deal with this situation.

These buildings date back to the early 2000s when untreated timber and other construction techniques associated with leaky buildings were in common use.

“It is important to note that the DHB’s advice is that patient safety is not at risk as long as any rot and mould are contained in the walls. That will be of little comfort to the people of Counties Manukau who rightly expect that their hospitals are up to scratch.

“The reality is that the legacy of underfunding in Health will take some years to turn around,” said David Clark.