All set for hospital foundations

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Construction of the new $7million Maniototo Hospital is progressing smoothly, site manager Tim Newman says.

The new building will replace the main hospital block that dates back to 1929. Once it is finished, the nearby 1959 Chalet rest-home will be renovated.

The blockwork for the new hospital building was finished and the foundation concrete pour would begin this week, Mr Newman said.

“We hope to have the slab down by the end of the month,” Mr Newman said.

The target was to have the hospital completed by the end of the year, Mr Newman said.

The next stage would be renovating the Chalet rest-home, he said.

“This is going to be the new medical centre, and there is going to be some time spent in there fitting windows and bringing it up to spec,” Mr Newman said.

The hospital and renovated Chalet would then be connected.

“There will be a linkway between the old and the new buildings.”

The new hospital would meet the structural requirements set for emergency operations centres, including for any earthquake issues, Mr Newman said.

“They’ve taken that into consideration – it is up to standard.

“It is a government building so it’s got to be the last one standing if there is an emergency,” Mr Newman said.

Maniototo Health Services general manager Geoff Foster said the new hospital would pave the way for a much more flexible operation, with ensuite rooms and hospital-level beds, he said.

“We are going to have 29 beds and 26 rooms,” he said.

The hospital’s new strategic direction would involve managing with fewer rooms and having patients spend less time in hospital, with the focus on caring for people in their own homes, Mr Foster said.

A $1million contribution to the redevelopment announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern last month was “massive”, chairman Stuart Paterson said.

“It helped a lot. It made it that much easier. We are very happy with the way it’s going.”

The hospital building was expected to be completed by the end of the year, and the renovated Chalet building should be finished several months after that, he said.