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Building of a new $2.5 million theatre at Hawke’s Bay Hospital begins on Monday (Feb 20)

 This is the first major capital investment the district health board has undertaken after moving into a surplus financial position, following two years of restructuring and improving productivity, through a  revitalisation of the health sector programme. Chief executive Kevin Snee said signing off the build signalled new beginnings for the health sector and was a reflection of the hard work and commitment from staff to improve the way services were delivered so the community could benefit.

“Everyone has worked hard to improve our productivity while at the same time maintaining quality. This new theatre will provide enormous benefits to patients waiting for surgery and for staff as theatre time improves.

“Financially we are still closely monitoring and looking to improve the way we do things so we can enhance our service to the community through new developments like this new theatre,” he said.

Dr Snee said he was committed to making improvements though better integration of the entire Hawke’s Bay health sector.

Chief operating officer Warrick Frater said the new theatre would be completed by the mid- August and would mean the DHB could meet the growing demand on its six other theatres. “Patients will wait less time for elective surgery and there will be fewer instances when people are bumped off theatre lists because of an acute case.

“We expect demand on both acute and elective surgery to increase by about 2.5 percent each year and without the addition of a new theatre there would have been ongoing problems getting patients into theatre as timely as we would like,” Mr Frater said.

Initially work would be done to move an office and a build a new staff room so work on the theatre could begin.

HBDHB MEDIA RELEASE: Friday 17 February 2012