‘Good progress’ with hospital plans

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The project consultant for a proposed independent hospital in Queenstown says the joint venture partners are making good progress on design and specs.

The original partner is large Kiwi private hospital operator, Southern Cross Hospitals. It was joined last November by regional charitable trust, Central Lakes Trust.

Consultant Andrew Blair says the partners are still working through the due diligence process.

“The planning has taken longer than we had hoped, but both parties take very seriously their responsibility to thoroughly research all aspects of the project before committing to what represents a significant investment for the region.”

Blair says the parties have also “maintained constructive dialogue with the Southern District Health Board”.

He’s said in the past that the hospital, from day one, would be open to health board-funded public patients.

Local mayor Jim Boult told November he was “over the moon” he’d got SDHB agreement for this.

“Such a hospital would cater for not only people who can just pay the cost, or have medical insurance, but just for ordinary folk in the public health system to go there and have all of those short treatments done that we currently need to go to Dunedin for.”

Blair’s statement doesn’t reveal the hospital’s proposed location.

– PHILIP CHANDLER