A major expansion of Wakatipu health services is likely as health bosses reveal their latest move for improving Lakes District Hospital.
Very happy: Dr Peter Foley
Southern District Health Board is calling for expressions of interest from tomorrow from potential healthcare providers keen to base themselves at the Frankton hospital.
Private, public, new and existing providers – like pharmacies, GPs and specialist clinics – are being invited to set up shop at the 21-bed hospital.
It has ample room for extra services – and their inclusion will significantly enhance access to local healthcare, SDHB finance and funding general manager Robert Mackway-Jones says.
“If we can attract some new providers and private providers then there could be a range of new and different services available and mean a lot more convenience.”
SDHB’s move follows one of the many recommendations set down by the Government’s National Health Board last year after a review of healthcare in the resort.
The NHB put paid to SDHB’s previous plans to part-privatise the running of the hospital by instead urging that the facility is retained on its current site and is further developed as a “health campus” for the Wakatipu.
“In the past there have been some big providers of private-based services that were interested in developing in Queenstown, so now we’re just saying who would be interested in developing that on the LDH site,” Mackway-Jones says.
“If we can get people to respond positively to the expressions of interest process then we can move into the next phase of looking at developing campus site plans.”
The 1908sq m hospital won’t be extended – extra services would have to fit within the existing building.
But the aged-care residential facilities next to LDH could be in line for expansion or a re-build. SDHB is separately looking for a new service provider of the aged-care residential services contract.
“We’ve said quite specifically that we’d like to see the new provider have an interest in expanding on site,” Mackway-Jones says.
“The future demand projections for the population would indicate that there would be a need for more hospital-level palliative-type services so we’d be interested in any new residential care provider willing to be involved in site expansion.”
Dr Peter Foley, former chair of the NHB’s Wakatipu expert panel, says he’s very pleased to see the recommendation begin to take shape but stresses SDHB needs to work with potential providers who relocate.
“Obviously there are always transition difficulties in moving healthcare to another site.
“It’s going to need to be developed as a partnership. I hope the DHB works in partnership with those that express an interest to help achieve the outcome that the Wakatipu needs.”
Submissions close June 15 and participating providers will be notified on August 24.
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