Work has begun for an expanded Hastings Health Centre outside the CBD.
Demolition is under way on St Aubyn Street West on a site originally planned to be the home of an aggregated Totara Health and Hastings Health Centre, which was planned but the project was abandoned early last year.
The aggregated centre was to be one of New Zealand's largest and most advanced medical practices, including after-hours emergency care. With patients retaining their existing healthcare relationship, the new centre was expected to employ 40 doctors, 50 nurses and 70 other staff for 38,000 patients.
The site was purchased for the centre by Big Tree Development, originally a joint venture between the two health companies now owned outright by Hastings Health Centre, which plans a three-level Hastings Health Care Facility adjoining Totara Health.
Totara Health managing director Emma Foster said there would be no shared facilities. Totara was gaining extra parking as part of the development as well as the building on the corner of St Aubyn Street West and Nelson St, which would house more Totara facilities.
Hastings Health Centre chief executive Andrew Lesperance did not respond to a request for comment. Hawke's Bay Today understands a date to start building was yet to be decided.
A resource consent application lodged with Hastings District Council said the three-level L-shape 3874sq m building will be open to patients from 8am to 8pm daily with no overnight patients accommodated.
It will front both St Aubyn Street West and King Street North and on the ground floor will accommodate an accident and emergency facility, ultrasound, x-ray and blood clinics, podiatry and physiotherapy rooms, Bay Audiology, a pharmacy and a cafe.
The first floor will accommodate consultation rooms and reception areas. The smaller top floor will accommodate offices, a call centre, meeting rooms and a staff room. It will also consist of a small deck area facing over the carpark for staff use.
"It is envisaged by the applicant that the maximum operation of the facility would enable 350 patients to be seen or treated throughout a full working day," the application said.
There will be three access points to the 143-space carpark, via St Aubyn Street West, Nelson Street North and King Street North.
The previous tenant of the new site, Bunnings Trade, has moved to Heretaunga St near Carl's Jr.
Hastings acting mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said while she welcomed improved health facilities she hoped any new tenant in the health centre's current building would also attract people to the CBD.