Southern Cross Healthcare has unveiled the $11 million expansion of its New Plymouth hospital. A blessing ceremony, led by Ngāti Te Whiti kaumātua Shane Cassidy, was held at dawn on Jan. 17.
The two-stage hospital development on St Aubyn Street began in August 2020 with the expansion of the car park, followed by the construction of two new operating theatres, a 12-bed post-anaesthesia care unit and a 13-chair day procedure recovery area, which was finished in December 2021.
“We’re grateful to everyone who worked so tirelessly on the development,” said Southern Cross Healthcare interim chief executive Chris White. “It’s a fantastic achievement to get a project like this completed, especially through a pandemic.”
The hospital caters to privately insured and self-funding patients, as well as those funded through agreements with ACC and district health boards. Southern Cross employs approximately 154 staff at its New Plymouth hospital and is recruiting additional staff to work in the newly commissioned areas.
Clinician Lee McManus was appointed as the hospital’s general manager in November, following the retirement of Jenny Gamble. McManus was previously at Taranaki District Health Board as hospital manager, acute and planned care.
“The increased operating theatre capacity, and associated recovery beds will enable the hospital to better meet the increasing healthcare needs of New Plymouth and the wider Taranaki region, and treat more patients who require procedures,” McManus said. “We’re also honoured to have been gifted two beautiful framed taonga from local carver Bobby-Jo Manukonga to display in each new theatre which were unveiled at the blessing. Our team is looking forward to treating the first patients in the new surgical areas today.”