Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ED Radiology and associated spaces within the next two weeks.
“We all need to continue to do our bit to break the chain of transmission and slow the spread of COVID-19,” Dr David Clark says.
“As we expect the number of cases to continue to increase this week, it’s vital our health services can respond effectively.
“Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity is a priority area as part of our COVID-19 health response to ensure good care for our most critically affected New Zealanders.
“Work at Christchurch Hospital Hagley is now being prioritised to bring forward the availability of ICU and supporting areas.
“The new $500 million hospital has 28 adult ICU spaces and eight child ICU spaces.
“Completion of ED Radiology and associated areas is also being prioritised as part of the DHB’s emergency response planning for COVID-19.
“With over 300 workers on-site, including 120 workers brought in from other projects, good progress has been made. Ensuring high quality standards on the build remains a top priority.
“I’m pleased to confirm, the Ministry handed over the ICU to Canterbury DHB earlier today and a blessing was held to mark the occasion. The DHB is working towards ICU being operational and available to take patients later next week.
“I’d like to thank everyone who is working during the Level 4 lockdown period to get the ICU finished, including contractors, consultants and DHB staff. Work will also continue to get the rest of the hospital ready for handover to the DHB later in April.
“This is the largest hospital ever built in New Zealand. Despite the challenges that come with a project this large and complex, I’m pleased Christchurch Hospital Hagley is preparing to open. It’s a fantastic facility which will serve the community well into the future,” David Clark said.