Greymouth Hospital rebuild to begin

By Lee Scanlon

The rebuild has been on hold since late January. Photo / iStock
The rebuild has been on hold since late January. Photo / iStock

The Greymouth Hospital rebuild is on schedule to start in less than a fortnight, but it's unclear what's been cut from the budget.

The rebuild has been on hold since late January because of a $1.3 million cost overrun on the $68 million budget.

Consultants were called in to cut costs and Health Minister Jonathan Coleman promised that building would start by the end of May.

Officials stripped another $700,000 from the budget to pay for the consultants.

West Coast Hospital Redevelopment Partnership Group chairwoman Cathy Cooney confirmed today that the revised construction plan was on schedule.

"At this stage there is no change to the current timeframes and we expect construction to begin at the end of May."

Ms Cooney did not respond to questions about whether the $1.3 million savings had been achieved, and if so how.

The Greymouth Star reported in April that cuts under consideration included putting some offices into portable cabins, altering the design of the associated integrated family health centre (IFHC), and deleting the budget for courtyard landscaping.

Ms Cooney said Fletcher Construction had presented its fixed price lump sum for the project after the completion of detailed design and a full tender of sub-trades.

"This is under negotiation and is being considered by the West Coast Hospital Redevelopment Partnership Group."

The new hospital is due to open in early 2018 -- more than a year later than the Government said when it approved the rebuild in 2013. It will have between 56 and 62 beds, compared to 70 currently.

Westport IFHC

Meanwhile Westport's proposed integrated family health centre (IFHC) remains in limbo.

The Ministry of Health said last week that National Health Board's capital investment committee was considering the business case. Decisions on scope, budget and funding options were expected soon.

The West Coast District Health Board (DHB) looks likely to seek a public/private partnership to fund the Westport IFHC because the Government has refused to stump up. In Banks Peninsula, the local community had to raise $2.5 million for its new IFHC.

The DHB hopes to save almost $20 million over five years from the new Greymouth and Westport developments, including $15.9 million in Greymouth and $3.17 million in Buller from less repair work, maintenance and efficiencies.

- Westport News

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