The Southern District Health Board has approved a $1.75
million repair job to fix Dunedin Hospital's seven-storey
clinical services building.
Staff have estimated the repairs, which involve permanently
sealing windows to prevent leaks, will extend the life of the
building by up to 10 years.
The big rebuild of Dunedin Hospital is estimated to be about
seven years away, and the repairs are designed to ensure the
building lasts until then.
''We began the work last month and now have the go-ahead to
complete the project,'' board chief executive Carole Heatly
said in a statement after the meeting.
The repairs involve extensive scaffolding and should be
finished by the end of the year.
Board members discussed the project at their meeting in
Dunedin yesterday, but waited until after the public was
excluded for detailed discussion and the decision.
''It involves sealing exterior cladding, windows and parts of
the roof, to ensure the building's exterior is watertight.
''After recent issues with spot leaks around the building,
including in the area outside theatres, it is essential for
our staff and patients that this work be completed,'' Ms
At the board meeting, member Richard Thomson questioned
whether the building could not last a lot longer if more
money was spent.
Decisions about rebuilding or repairing the hospital were
important because the costs affected funding available for
services, he said.
Finance director Peter Beirne said the ''working scenario''
was that the clinical services building was nearing the end
of its useful life, although its long-term future was
The cost of fully repairing the building would outstrip the
value it would add to the building, he said.
Chairman Joe Butterfield said the $1.75 million would fix the
outside of the building, but not the inside. Mr Butterfield
was keen for most of the discussion to be in the
public-excluded part of the meeting.
The board was yet to work through funding issues, Ms Heatly's
The Otago Daily Times approached Health Minister Tony
Ryall this week to ask whether the board would receive extra
money for the repairs.
''No - funding for Southern DHB has increased by $124 million
since we became Government,'' the one-line response from Mr