Opening of the New Burwood Hospital
Today the Prime Minister unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening of the few facilities at Burwood Hospital.
At the ceremony, the Prime Minister listened to a waiata by the Rockers of Ages choir, cut a celebratory cake with volunteer worker Michael Turner and patient, Geoff Dacombe, and toured one of the new wards for Older Persons' Health.
David Meates, Canterbury DHB chief executive, says he is proud to have led the organisation through this complex and demanding project.
There has been a medical facility in some form on the Burwood hospital site for over 100 years.
Over the years it has been the place for treating patients with the plague, veterans with TB, diphtheria, the first plastic surgery unit, and it is now the country’s leading spinal injury research and rehab centre as well as a Birthing Unit, a Brain injury unit and orthopaedic rehab unit. Included are new ward blocks for medical, rehabilitation and mental health services for older people. There are also new outpatient areas, including radiology and pharmacy areas.
The Hospital has had an interesting history. It has been called Tipperary Place, The Fever Hospital, The Infectious Disease Hospital, the Bottle Lake Hospital before, and now it is known as Burwood Hospital.
Redevelopment plans for Burwood and Christchurch Hospitals were in the pipeline before the devastating earthquakes of 2010/2011. The new hospitals are the biggest investment in Health infrastructure ever undertaken in New Zealand at close to $1billion.
Three years into the project and it is virtually complete. Burwood Hospital has long been recognised as one of New Zealand's centres of excellence for rehabilitation and elective orthopaedic surgery. The three storey blocks can accommodate up to 230 inpatients and has the ability to manage 80,000 outpatients every year.
Each 24 bed ward has three communal patient lounge areas plus a whanau room where patients can spend time with family members.
The entire new build has beautifully landscaped courtyards throughout, designed to let in as much natural light as possible and help keep people connected to the outdoors.
More than 250 staff have moved from The Princess Margaret Hospital to work in the new facilities at Burwood, bringing the total number of staff working on the site to over 1,000
The new hospital will be a key catalyst for economic development in the surrounding area, stimulating new businesses and increased opportunities.