No time to consult on hospital: Blair

There is not enough time to consult the public about the Dunedin Hospital rebuild, project chairman Andrew Blair says.

No formal consultation process was planned for the $300million project, he confirmed ahead of a public information event at Otago Museum at 6pm today.

``We're not having a full-blown public consultation process because the timeframes simply don't allow that.''

Much had not been decided about the rebuild, but the public's views were already known, Mr Blair said yesterday.

The rebuild project group has not decided what to rebuild; most crucially, whether the ward block is up for replacement, or just the smaller clinical services building.

``We're still getting information, but increasingly the economics of re-lifing [the ward block] will challenge us.''

The $300million budget was a placeholder amount and could change.

``We haven't determined the scale and size and nature of the facilities that we're going to be building. We're nowhere near confirming a price.''

The site or sites of the rebuild would not be confirmed until a detailed business case was compiled in mid-2018.

``Having multiple locations is just one of many potential options,'' he said.

The much-delayed project is two to three years behind the original government timeframe.

No date has been set for construction to start.

Organised by the Ministry of Health and Southern District Health Board, tonight's forum is the first time the public has been invited to hear from the people planning the rebuild.

The ministry is the project manager, working alongside the appointed rebuild group led by Mr Blair.

The main purpose of the forum was to tell people about the project, rather than hear their views.

``[The forum is] really about us informing where we're at in the project, what our timeframes are, what our considerations are.

``If we get further feedback that will be helpful, but we've got a pretty good steer on what the community's views are.

``We've heard very loudly and very clearly the desire of many people to retain the hospital near its current location.

``We've heard very clearly the desire of many people to have it located near to the medical school.''

Mr Blair said the SDHB had run ``extensive consultation'' in recent years on the future of health services, and there was no point repeating that.

Asked what new information would be presented in tonight's forum, he said: ``For the public, for many of them, there may be a lot that's new.''

``[The Otago Daily Times] may have heard it before, staff may have heard some of it before, but I would hope that packaging it all up in a focused presentation the public will find useful.''



What mind numbing arrogance.

We the committee have been stuffing around for 18 months. During that time we have decided only one thing and that is the public don't need to have a say.

I really can't believe that nothing has been decided. No decision on services, size, location or cost. Now why don't I believe him.

Coupled with the new SDHB CEO wanting to nobble public scrutiny of their performance and a minister who just wants to move all Dunedin's services to the new Christchurch hospital, what does Dunedin get?



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