Media releases 2012

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Southern Cross Hospitals to build theatre dedicated to publicly funded surgery

Thursday, 19 July 2012 by Aimee Bourke

Southern Cross Hospital Christchurch has announced it is adding two new operating theatres to its Bealey Ave premises, one of which will be solely dedicated to elective surgery for publicly-funded patients.
Canterbury DHB and Southern Cross Hospitals will jointly manage the theatre use and staffing requirements for public patients.
David Meates, CEO Canterbury DHB said the new theatre would help the DHB continue to meet its elective surgery targets while health services in the region were redeveloped. The contract with Southern Cross runs until 2016.
“We are pleased to be working in partnership with Southern Cross to secure the continuity of public surgery in Christchurch following the February 2011 earthquake,” said Meates.
The public surgery undertaken in the new theatre will be predominantly day surgery.
Southern Cross Hospitals CEO Terry Moore said the new theatre was a good example of the public and private sectors working in partnership to ensure Canterbury residents had timely access to surgery.
“We are very supportive of the Christchurch re-build. As part of this, the DHB has some very large projects in progress - the least we can do is assist them with capacity while this is underway. This additional assistance is vital to the residents of Canterbury.”
Moore said although the joint management of a theatre for public patients was a new approach, the relationship with the DHB was not. Canterbury DHB has outsourced elective surgery to Southern Cross Hospital Christchurch for a number of years – though this has increased significantly since the February 2011 earthquake.
Said Moore, “Southern Cross Hospitals is owned by a charitable Trust. Our focus is on providing high quality, affordable elective surgical services. This includes to privately paying or insured patients and public sector organisations such as DHBs and ACC.”
The second new theatre will service the growing number of surgeons wanting to operate in a private capacity at the hospital, said Moore. The surgical hospital is part of a health campus which also includes specialist consulting suites and diagnostic facilities.
“Throughout the past decade, millions have been invested in upgrading and enhancing the Christchurch Southern Cross Hospital.We now have one of the most advanced facilities in the South Island. This includes two digital theatres, one of which is equipped with systems enabling robotically-assisted surgery. ”
Construction of the new theatres has just begun, with a target completion date of January 2013.