Hospital business case to Cabinet this year

David Clark.
David Clark.
Cabinet expects to consider the detailed business case for the new Dunedin hospital this year, Health Minister David Clark says.

The detailed business case is the next major milestone in the $1.4 billion project for a new hospital to be built in Dunedin by 2026.

By the time the case was presented, consultant teams would have been appointed, hospital specifications drawn and a project plan drafted.

''Now the site is selected, planning and design will progress with haste,'' Dr Clark told Parliament yesterday.

''Work will also start on the resource management consent process.''

Dr Clark told parliament Cabinet expected to consider the detailed business case this year then later corrected his answer saying it would be this year.

The new hospital will be built on both the former Cadbury factory and the block to the north of it between Hanover and St Andrew Sts.

Last week, Pete Hodgson, chairman of the Southern Partnership Group - the organisation steering the rebuild - said the next few months of the project would involve extensive and complex planning spanning all aspects of construction.

As much as 20% of the rebuild budget would be spent on planning, Mr Hodgson said.

''Planning is a very big part of a complicated build, and we will not finish it before we start building.''

The Ministry of Health has already contacted architectural firms in New Zealand and abroad to pitch for rebuild contracts. Further competitive contracts for the project are about to be let.

Dr Clark said yesterday the rebuild remained on track to start before the next election, in 2020.

''The people of the South have waited too long for their new hospital, which is exactly why we're moving ahead without delay.''

National health spokesman Michael Woodhouse asked Dr Clark when the decision on the site for the new hospital had been made.

Dr Clark said he did not have that detail to hand, but said selection of the final site was ''not so long ago''.

Last week, Mr Woodhouse said similar hospital rebuilds had taken about 10 years, so the public should not be kept in the dark about the time the project would take, or the details.

''It is now important that Dr Clark ensures that there is clear consultation with the people who are going to be using the facility, including the health professionals and the patients,'' Mr Woodhouse said.


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