National Tukituki MP Lawrence Yule is pushing for the Government to support a major upgrade at Hawke's Bay Hospital, which he says will need to happen within the next five to 10 years.
He said that in discussions with the Hawke's Bay DHB he was told the cost of the rebuilding project could be between $150 million and $200 million, and that how to fund that investment needed to be considered "sooner rather than later".
"No matter what Government is in in the near future, provision needs to be made for that.
"This DHB is one of the most efficiently run in the country, but you can't expect surpluses of the level that's required of this kind of investment.
"It's Hawke's Bay's turn to get a major upgrade to its hospital, and I want to make that a priority."
DHB chief executive Kevin Snee said the need to rebuild large parts of the hospital had been known about for many years, at least since a capital programme plan was done in 2008.
The projected cost of the upgrade was an early, ballpark figure, and the focus on any initial rebuild would be on the main ward block, he said.
"To do all we want to do would cost a lot more than that and as we know when it comes time to fund construction, building costs are likely to have gone up."
Mr Snee said that the DHB had, through its own financial management, spent about $60 million over the past five to six years on capital upgrades.
"Raising that kind of money is doable, on top of other ongoing infrastructure investments, but we will need to find substantial money for the work on the ward block and other areas that are a bit decrepit or not very well designed."
This would mean an approach to Government and he said there had been a lot of thinking about how to work within the existing footprint of the hospital.
He said the first steps would be to let the Ministry of Health know the situation and the DHB's long-term plans.
"When we get closer we will talk about money - the system is aware of it and knows that it's not 20 years away, it's sooner."
The future capability and capacity of the hospital was currently under review through the clinical services plan, a report on which was due at the end of April next year.