Boost for hospital project

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YVONNE O’HARA

yvonne.ohara@alliedpress.co.nz

The Maniototo Health Services Ltd (MHSL) took a big step towards building its new hospital and rest-home when it last week appointed its project management company.

MHSL manager Geoff Foster said they had asked the Logic Group, Dunedin, to manage the project and he hoped they would be able to appoint a builder early next year.

In addition, MHSL has less than $1million to go to reach its budget target of $5.5million for the build.

Mr Foster said Logic Group and the MHSL’s project steering committee would be finalising the details on the concept plan.

“Our focus for the next few months is to get the design work done and [finalise] the funding,” Mr Foster said.

“They [Logic] are now looking at appointing an architect, quantity surveyor, mechanical engineer and electrical engineer.

“We anticipate the build will take 12 to 16 months to complete, but we are hoping it will be only be 12 months.”

He said the whole process would be audited, transparent and independent.

In addition to providing $2million from the MHSL’s own reserves, the Maniototo Community Board (MCB) had confirmed it had allocated $2million for the project.

The Maniototo community had raised $700,000 through extensive fundraising.

“It is a lot of money from a little town,” he said.

The MHSL was also applying for funding to various charitable trusts, and had received $50,000 from one grant.

In addition the ASB had recently confirmed it had approved a credit facility or long-term loan if required.

“That would allow us to proceed and ensure we have the funding,” he said.

The MHSL had earlier applied to the Government for $1 million but had been turned down.

Maniototo Community Board chairman Robert Hazlett said the council had the option of selling land or using additional rates to pay for the $2million but nothing as yet had been finalised.

“It [the rates] will be about $50 a year which is not huge, but there are people who are saying they can’t afford it, particularly low-income families.”

The new building was budgeted to have 29 rest-home and hospital beds, as well as a medical centre, new administration, resident and specialist facilities.

Increasing demand from Maniototo and further inland, particularly for the MHSL’s rest-home and respite care services, meant the design might have to be flexible.

The future of the existing building, built in 1929, had yet to be decided.

Community groups including the Lions, Friends of the Hospital and Ranfurly Evergreens (Age Concern group) were interested in furnishing the new building.

Concern at lack of Government funding: Page 5