Hospital building stocktake to guide investment

Photo: File/SunLive.

The government says they now have the first ever "clear and comprehensive picture" of the state of New Zealand’s hospital buildings.

The Current State Assessment of DHB assets released today is the only consistent nationwide report on the condition and clinical fitness for purpose of DHB facilities and buildings ever completed.

“Although governments have known for some time that many of these buildings have serious faults including seismic weakness and weather tightness issues, until now no Government has ever had a comprehensive picture of the state of this vital infrastructure,” says Dr David Clark.

“This work has been a priority for me. DHB buildings are valued at around $24 billion making this an important investment area to get right.

He says this report is part of the Ministry of Health’s National Asset Management Programme (NAMP), which in turn, is part of a government wide focus to improve capital funding decisions, capital investment plans and asset management.

“The report, which focuses on older DHB buildings, provides a good foundation for understanding the pressure points." 

He says it shows site-wide infrastructure is in poorer condition compared to hospital campuses, and many acute care facilities and mental health facilities are below modern design standards.

“These findings are not surprising given the accumulated underinvestment and problems that were ignored by the previous government.

“The Ministry is working with DHBs, who are responsible for maintaining and renewing their assets, to address many of the issues identified in the report. This includes reviewing DHB asset management plans, following up on remediation issues and developing an asset risk, assurance and monitoring framework." 

Clark says the government has already made a start on fixing the most pressing problems, committing a record $3.5 billion for DHB capital projects in the first three budgets. 

“This includes the $300 million health investment package in the New Zealand Upgrade Programme which also adds to the work we’re doing to rebuild and strengthen our hospitals and health facilities.

“Over the next decade, DHB infrastructure is expected to need $14 billion in funding. This is a long term programme of work, with many projects across the country requiring funding," he says.

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