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New beginnings . . . Maniototo Health Services nurse manager Mary Helm and chairman Stuart Paterson are looking forward to putting the new $7million hospital to use. PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON

ALEXIA.JOHNSTON
@alliedpress.co.nz

Maniototo Hospital is all but ready for business.

The new $7million facility, on the outskirts of Ranfurly, is still a work in progress, but was on schedule to be completed in time for its mid-February audit.

Maniototo Health Services chairman Stuart Paterson was pleased with progress.

“It’s great. Everything is right on schedule,” he said.

“It’s been a great team to work with at Stewart Construction.”

Nurse manager Mary Helm was also pleased with how the project had taken shape.

“Every day there’s something different and it’s so much closer to being finished.”

The facility will have 26 rooms, which will benefit both rest-home residents and hospital patients.

That combination meant the staff, of about 50, would get to know everyone on site.

“I think it’s going to be a plus, plus,” she said.

The facility has been designed to allow natural light in, while fresh air can flow through the corridors via windows at the highest point of the walls, which can be opened and closed using technology.

The spacious rooms, which feature en suites, are located in either the Kakanui Ward or Hawkdun Ward, named specific to the mountain ranges facing the rooms.

A helipad has also been proposed for a wide open grassed area at the south end of the new building.

Once residents have moved into the new building, the chalet, where the retirement home is at the moment, will be “reconfigured” into a one-stop shop for various medical needs.

It will include a medical centre, dentist, Well Child and Plunket room.

The existing hospital, which was built in 1929, is likely to be demolished, Mr Paterson said.

“We’ve looked at all options for keeping it. At this stage it looks like it will be demolished.”