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This is an important milestone, providing a green light for our continued planning and development.
It has been a tremendous effort to reach this point, and I want to thank our teams of staff and community advisors who have worked through the many complexities involved in determining how best to use the 89,000 square metres to deliver the best health care for our district.
It is important to emphasise the significance of this, not just for Dunedin, but for the whole district.
The new hospital will be the main tertiary centre for health care for the 340,000 people living across the 62,000 square kilometres that make up the Southern district. It needs to enable excellent clinical practice, provide a calm and welcoming environment, make the best use of the digital technologies available, and be set up for the health needs of the future. Having experienced the sudden arrival of a pandemic, we are now more aware than ever that these needs can evolve quickly, and the importance of planning for a range of scenarios.
In determining what should go into the hospital, we also needed to have the conversations about what services need to be provided in a tertiary hospital and what services should be provided elsewhere – closer to our rural communities and people’s homes – and how this can be achieved through working differently and making use of technological advances.
This is a once in a generation opportunity to transform the health services in our district, and we are excited to now move into the next stages of this project. We appreciate everyone’s input into this, and look forward to continuing to keep you updated on the progress that’s being made.
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