Hodgson describes vision of new Dunedin Hospital

Sharing his understanding of the plans for the new Dunedin Hospital and what it will mean for the city is Southern Partnership Group chairman and former minister of health Pete Hodgson. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Sharing his understanding of the plans for the new Dunedin Hospital and what it will mean for the city is Southern Partnership Group chairman and former minister of health Pete Hodgson. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Insights into the Dunedin Hospital rebuild were revealed last night.

The project would have a budget of up to $1.4billion, would be the largest hospital rebuild in New Zealand and would be six and a-half times the cost of the stadium.

At a talk given by Pete Hodgson, the chairman of the Southern Partnership Group, which is overseeing the rebuild, he discussed how the Dunedin Hospital would be a place-changing project for Dunedin.

About 300 people who have a relationship to Dunedin or are in Dunedin looking for something to do would be enlisted and trained from scratch to assist in rebuilding the hospital, he said.

''They might currently be in jail, at Logan Park High School or in Brisbane wondering whether or not they should come home.

''We want to give all of these people the opportunity to stay or come to Dunedin and contribute. Ultimately we want to reduce recidivism, reduce unemployment and make it a place-changing project for Dunedin.''

It was all about getting the size and capacity of the hospital right, he said.

''We want it to be small enough for nurses, big enough for services and flexible enough for growth.''

Existing hospital capacity is 360 and the new hospital would have a 400-patient capacity.

Hospitals of the future would be smaller and more digital, the former health minister said.

One of the big challenges for the new Dunedin Hospital would be transport, with one-way streets running either side of the rebuild site.

''We're asking whether we should encourage trucks alongside town on Strathallan St rather than through it.''

Mr Hodgson said the rebuild was in the second stage of five, the engineering and architecture for the project still needing to be dealt with.

He anticipated the rebuild would absorb a large amount of Dunedin's resources so it would be sensible for other major projects to make haste beforehand.

''The estimated completion of the build is November 2028.''

emma.perry@odt.co.nz

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