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New Family Health and Urgent Care Centre coming to North Canterbury

Wednesday, December 9, 2020   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: health, services

Canterbury DHB media release: 9th December 2020

A new health centre for North Canterbury will soon be built as part of Canterbury DHB’s Rangiora Health Hub. The new 1,250 square metre facility will sit alongside the DHB’s Maternity Unit and Community Services.

The Minister of Health has approved the DHB’s proposal to lease land at the Hub to the South Link Health Services Group, for them to build and operate a family health and urgent care centre that will be known as Rangiora Medical Centre.

The new facility will bring together existing general practices Good Street Medical and Rangiora Family Doctors, and will be open for care 7 days a week for extended hours between 8am and 10pm.

Acting Executive Director Planning and Funding and Decision Support for Canterbury DHB Ralph La Salle is delighted to be able to share this great news with the community.

“North Canterbury’s population continues to grow rapidly, and so does its need for primary healthcare.

“Some time ago the DHB saw an opportunity to make space available at the Rangiora Health Hub for a new primary care facility, alongside our own facilities. In 2019 we invited expressions of interest from any party with a successful track record in similar developments.

“South Link Health Services and its local partners put forward a very strong proposal to the DHB, and I’m very pleased that we’ve now got ministerial approval to proceed. This will provide North Canterbury with a new, purpose-designed facility that will deliver additional primary healthcare capacity that will reduce the need for people to travel to Christchurch for urgent care,” says Ralph.

South Link Health Services’ CEO Professor Murray Tilyard is thrilled to get the go-ahead.

“An integrated family health and urgent care centre had always been the third and final piece needed to complete a health hub puzzle that will meet the needs of the people of the Waimakariri and Hurunui Districts.

“For South Link, this is a great opportunity and aligns with our goal of providing equitable and responsive quality health care to our communities.

“As South Link is a not for profit health provider, this allows us to invest our profits back into the community to continue growing our health resources and services. Based on our experience in developing the Three Rivers Medical Centre in Ashburton, it will be a privilege to again partner with the DHB to serve this community,” Professor Tilyard says.

Local GP Dr Lorna Martin of Rangiora Family Doctors is also very excited about this development.

“I am delighted to see this dream come to fruition for Rangiora and the wider community. Prior to the earthquakes this small town was well supplied with medical facilities. Since the earthquakes our needs have massively increased.

"Having been a General Practitioner in Rangiora for 30 years, living and working in the community. I am committed to improving the options available. I have worked alongside and in partnership with South Link health for some years and see this development as an exciting addition to our community,” said Dr Martin.

Ralph La Salle adds, “As a necessary part of this development, we need to remove the old Rangiora Hospital building. While it has served this community well over the years it has been closed for some time now and is no longer suitable for delivering contemporary models of healthcare - and we now have a better use for the space it occupies.”

“Its removal will make way for the new facility and more parking, making it easier for people to access the care they need in one location, and for clinical staff to provide well-coordinated care.”

Demolition is expected to begin in March 2021 following work to safely remove asbestos from the building.

Site preparations and construction will commence shortly after the demolition, and the facility is scheduled for completion in late 2022.

Professor Tilyard says during this time South Link will work with the DHB on keeping local people informed about plans and progress.