Trust seeks consent for new health hub

An early concept design of a new health hub in Kurow. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
An early concept design of a new health hub in Kurow. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
The first step to revamp healthcare in the Waitaki Valley has been taken.

The Waitaki Valley Health Trust has applied for resource consent for a new health hub to serve the communities of the Waitaki and Hakataramea Valleys.

It will be community-owned and accommodate a range of healthcare options under one roof, such as Plunket, physiotherapy and podiatry.

The hub will also have a role in managing civil disaster responses and emergency events.

Waitaki Valley Health Trust chairman Dr Jim Jerram said the existing facility housing the general practice was "totally inadequate".

"It’s got narrow corridors, it’s got no insulation, it leaks, it’s got single glazing. Sounding insulation isn’t adequate for healthcare provision.

"It’s not big enough and isn’t designed in the right configuration to allow multiple healthcare providers and wellness promoters to actually operate in collaboration under the same roof", he said.

There was a need for the hub as there were no similar facilities between Oamaru and Twizel.

"The communities of the valley really deserve top-notch facilities.

"We’re very lucky to have an excellent general practice there at the moment. But we need to secure the future of health services by having a utility that is adaptable to whatever is coming next", Dr Jerram said

"While we can not guarantee easy recruitment of providers in the future with a new facility, we can guarantee there will be none without it."

The trust will now shift its attention to raising funds for the hub, expected to cost more than $5 million.