INDEPENDENT NEWS

Biggest Southern Cross Hospital Grows by 20%

Published: Thu 10 Feb 2000 10:42 AM
MEDIA RELEASE
9 February 2000
Biggest Southern Cross Hospital Grows by 20%
One of the South Island’s largest building development projects in the past two years is nearing conclusion and is holding an official opening this week. The multi-million dollar development is for one of New Zealand’s largest private hospitals.
Christchurch’s Southern Cross Hospital redevelopment on Bealey Avenue will be officially opened by the Chairman of Southern Cross Healthcare, Dr Hylton LeGrice, on 10 February. The building project, which has so far taken 18 months and used many local contractors, increased the capacity of the hospital from four to six theatres and introduced a major new day stay facility for the city.
Manager of Southern Cross Christchurch Tau Loon Ho says the hospital is the largest in Southern Cross’ nationwide, 13 hospital network.
“We have 220 staff and over 9,000 patients a year, and 130 South Island specialists are accredited to work here” he says. “The new facilities will increase patient throughput by 20% a year – and that’s only just going to meet demand. Private patient numbers are growing considerably. Our major areas of work such as orthopaedic, general and laparoscopic surgery are in heavy demand, and we’re the only private hospital in the South Island that does the intensely complex cardiac surgery.
The hospital redevelopment also marks a major investment on the part of leading independent radiologists Christchurch Radiology Group, which has operated its Southern Cross Radiology site at the hospital for the past 11 years. In line with its commitment to provide a comprehensive top quality service to patients throughout Christchurch, CRG is about to invest in a new state of the art Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine. The new machine – fully supported by experienced on-site specialists – will reduce pressure on CRG’s existing MRI facility. Its installation will provide Southern Cross Radiology with the most up to date magnetic imaging facility in the South Island.
“That having been said, one area of the greatest growth is daystay – and that’s the major investment we have made for Christchurch city.”
The new development includes top quality furnishings, designed and made in New Zealand, modernising the exterior of the hospital to a year 2000 look, and plush interior refurbishment with natural timbers.
Tau Loon explained that private patients for Southern Cross hospitals came from many walks of life, and less than half were funded into the hospital by Southern Cross insurance. Other funders include ACC, private insurance companies such as Aetna and fee paying patients.
“More and more people are choosing the special care that a private hospital can provide. With this redevelopment we have redesigned much of the flow of the hospital and refurbished all the rooms, bringing them up to the best standards in New Zealand. Many thousands of dollars have also been spent on new equipment to feature in the two new theatres and day stay,” he says.
One of the theatres is still under construction and will be fully commissioned at Easter.
Southern Cross Christchurch provides private facilities for all specialties including: cardiac, orthopaedic surgery, general surgery, gynaecology, Ear Nose and Throat, Opthalmology, paediatric surgery, plastics, oral maxillofacial and urology.
Southern Cross has owned the hospital on the Bealey Avenue site since 1979, when an earlier refurbishment project was initiated. Prior to that, it was owned by the Little Company of Mary and was known as Calvary Hospital.
Southern Cross Healthcare operates the largest network of private surgical hospitals in New Zealand, and employs nearly 1,000 people nationwide in addition to the 800 specialists registered to treat patients at Southern Cross Hospitals.
More than 35% of all patients who have had private surgery in New Zealand in the past year were treated in a Southern Cross Hospital.
Ends

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