Hastings Health Centre chief executive Andrew Lesperance says Hastings will have one of the most modern primary health facilities by January 2019.
The Hastings Health Centre is set to build a multimillion-dollar primary health centre on the former Bunnings site on the corner of St Aubyn St and King St, relocating from its current Queen St site.
Mr Lesperance says the new health centre will be one of the most advanced primary care medical facilities in the country, providing better access to a range of services usually accessed outside of the hospital environment, including urgent and after-hours medical care.
"This is a very exciting development for primary health and is the result of years of planning to get to this stage. We are creating a world class health campus where there will be more family doctors and nurses and a wider range of diagnostic and support services available in one easy-to-access central location.
"The growing population of Hastings has driven the need for bigger and more accessible facilities and our current site in Hastings is stretched with more demand for family healthcare than we can comfortably accommodate."
Other health provider services such as pharmacy, laboratory, radiology, audiology, physiotherapy and podiatry will be tenants as well as a cafe, all situated on the ground floor with the new Hastings health facility.
"This will be a significant investment in primary health care in New Zealand and we are proud to see Hastings leading the way."
The health centre site will cover 7650sq m, including a building area of 3900sq m spread over two and a half floors, as well as 143 off-street carparks (plus additional street parking). It will have three road frontages - Nelson St North, St Aubyn St West, and King St North providing excellent access and high visibility.
Project manager Nick Ward of Proactive Management Limited said he has brought together what he regards as an "A team" of local construction specialists with main contractor Gemco Construction, Architecture HDT, building services engineers Ensor Consulting, geotechnical engineers RDCL, planners and surveyors Development Nous, and consulting engineers LHT Design.
"This is a significant new build project in Hastings that will enhance the surrounding area. We've got a fantastic team of local businesses committed to completing the project by early 2019."
The site is now clear of buildings, sheds, services and trees, and the 15-month construction period can now commence.
Hastings Health Centre chairman and pharmacist Paul Messerschmidt says there has been a 25 per cent increase in patient throughput to the urgent care service at the Hastings Health Centre in the past year.
The Hastings Health Centre opened in May 2002 as one of the country's first Integrated Family Health Centres by a group of nine shareholders led by Dr Michael Hewitt.
"The new facility will have more doctors and nurses, and plenty more space to accommodate the growing demand for health services in Hastings.
"The world class facilities will ensure there is better integrated health care across a range of specialities, ensuring that our patients can continue to see their own family doctor as well as accessing urgent medical care and a wide range of specialist support services," Mr Messerschmidt said.
Hawke's Bay District Health Board's chief executive Dr Kevin Snee said he welcomed Hastings Health Centre's expansion as it would help provide more health services out in the community.
"Health services must be easy to find and available at the time people need them. The challenge is to have a robust general practice service that includes pharmacists, mental health and other specialties all working out in the community, that are well supported by hospital services. That's what the district health board and Health Hawke's Bay (PHO) are working towards.
"We look forward to working with Hastings Health Centre to see this come to fruition."
The new Hastings Health Centre will be next to Totara Health, and be open plan across a shared accessway.