Details of new hospital revealed

Queenstown Country Club wants to replace plans for a private gym/pool facility and two...
Queenstown Country Club wants to replace plans for a private gym/pool facility and two residential units with a new independent hospital, which the resource consent application says will be operated by Southern Cross. ARTIST’S IMPRESSION: SUPPLIED
Early plans for Queenstown's new independent hospital state it would have three operating theatres, seven recovery beds, 15 post-operative care beds and consultant rooms.

The hospital, to be run by Southern Cross Hospitals Ltd and the Central Lakes Trust, would occupy the south-western end of the Queenstown Country Club (QCC) development, on Ladies Mile.

It would front Fifth St, beside a civic square and cafe, and have capacity for 29 parking spaces. The theatres would be used for minor surgical procedures.

The details are in a resource consent application submitted recently to Queenstown Lakes District Council by the retirement village's representatives.

They are seeking permission to replace approved plans for a private gym/pool facility and two residential units with the private hospital facility.

The Otago Daily Times reported last year Southern Cross, a not-for-profit entity, and the trust had formed Southern Cross CLT Ltd, with equal shares, to progress the proposed hospital.

Professional director Andrew Blair, who worked to establish the joint venture announced last July, said the parties were aware of the resource consent application, but had no further comment at present.

Southern District Health Board chief executive Chris Fleming said the board was in discussions with Southern Cross CLT to "explore the possibility of the DHB accessing some capacity'' at the proposed hospital.

"Details have not at this stage been agreed, however, if feasible we would like to use some capacity to provide day surgical activity where the patients who would have had to travel to either Invercargill or Dunedin for the service are able to access it more locally.''

He said this would depend on everyone agreeing on terms and conditions, "not the least being the surgeons who will need to travel to support the service''.

District councillor John MacDonald, chairman of the DHB's Central Health Network, said he believed as long as the joint venture partners worked with the DHB "then it's a win for us''.

"I think it's great ... it's a positive move forward for the district.

"Of course when you start from scratch it's hard to know what you're going to need and, ultimately, I think it's a beginning and it's a start to having some surgical facilities in the district, which is a huge step in the right direction.''

Independent planning consultant Ben Farrell, reviewing the application, told Queenstown Lakes District Council the consent change effects would be no more than minor.

The building has a larger footprint than the consented QCC building, but is not as high.

"The proposal will also have socioeconomic benefits in allowing a private medical facility/hospital to be established in Queenstown,'' Mr Farrell said.


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