Hospital project delays cost DHB $50,000 a month

The new Greymouth Hospital site. Photo Greymouth Star
The new Greymouth Hospital site. Photo: Greymouth Star
Delays over the new Greymouth Hospital are costing the West Coast District Health Board about $50,000 a month.

The hospital had been due to open in April this year, then in midwinter, but that has now been pushed into 2019.

DHB executive director planning, funding and decision support Carolyn Gullery said the current Grey Base Hospital was old, difficult to maintain and inefficient to heat and service.

"The efficiencies and reduced maintenance costs that we expect with a new facility are not being realised," Ms Gullery said.

The delays in moving to the new facility were costing about $50,000 a month. Unbudgeted maintenance was $30,000.

"This money comes from the West Coast DHB's allocation of Vote Health funding. There is no additional funding to cover these costs as a result of delays."

The current hospital did not help the delivery of contemporary models of care, she said.

The board had made changes over the years as it moved to delivering care closer to home and keeping people well at home. However, service improvements were constrained until the new hospital was complete.

"The West Coast DHB must also deliver a contracted amount of elective procedures through the year on an annual basis, and planning is increasingly difficult," Ms Gullery said.

The delays were affecting the wellbeing of staff.

The Greymouth Star asked the Ministry of Health about the cost of delays in the project, which is being managed by the ministry.

It replied the information was commercially sensitive. - Greymouth Star

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