Next steps for Canterbury DHB rebuild

  • Tony Ryall
Health Canterbury Earthquake Recovery

The Government has given Canterbury District Health Board the go ahead to develop a business case for rebuilding the city's hospitals.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says the 'modified greenfield' option being considered involves rebuilding most of the clinical wards at Christchurch Hospital including a new acute services wing. It also includes a new specialist centre for older peoples' services at Burwood Hospital.

"Canterbury DHB had already identified capacity problems due to its growing and ageing population- and had begun to plan for that - but the Christchurch earthquakes made the situation a lot worse," says Mr Ryall.

"The price tag for the redevelopment could be in the vicinity of $600 million.
We need to meet the future needs of the people of Canterbury and make sure it is affordable.

The DHB will now prepare a business case to the Government which will incorporate more detailed plans for the design and make up of the buildings that will future proof Canterbury's health infrastructure.

"We have also requested that Canterbury DHB and the National Health Board sound out what opportunities exist for a public private partnership (PPP) to build the new facilities.

"This could include design, build and management of buildings, and some non clinical support services – while the DHB maintains full responsibility for delivering public health services," says Mr Ryall.

"The process will explore whether or not a PPP may suit the Canterbury redevelopment. In the current economic situation, the Government expects DHBs to look outside the square when it comes to achieving value for money in capital projects.

"There is already a wide range of private involvement in the public health service - and similar public private infrastructure partnerships have worked well overseas."

A decision on any public private partnership would be considered as part of the business case.