Thank you for your support of the Dunedin City Council-led Dunedin Hospital SOS campaign calling for the retention of a top flight teaching hospital in a central city location.
We are delighted that the 6,250 residents and numerous organisations from throughout Otago/Southland who backed the campaign have had their voices heard.
On 20 August 2017, the Government announced that it plans to spend $1.2 to $1.4 billion on a new hospital for Dunedin. It has not yet decided on whether to build a new hospital in the central city or at the Wakari hospital site, but has said its clear preference is for the central city.
An investment of up to $1.4 billion is a far greater level of investment than had first been indicated, so this gives us reassurance that a top flight teaching hospital will be retained in the city. We thank the Government for this commitment.
We do still have reservations that the option of rebuilding on the current Wakari Hospital site remains on the table. But we are encouraged that the Government has reached the same conclusions as the majority of our community in that a central city rebuild is the clear preference.
Now that the Government has listened to the community, we see that the best way to ensure a central city rebuild is realised as soon as possible is for the Dunedin Hospital SOS campaign to change its approach.
Instead of encouraging the public to send SOS messages, we will be working with the Government and other key stakeholders such as the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic to help facilitate a central city rebuild. We will be doing whatever we can to represent the community’s voice in the discussions and decisions which are at the heart of the city’s health, economic and educational wellbeing.
Of course, if at a later date the Government decides it does want to rebuild at Wakari, we will once again rally the community to strongly oppose this.
But for now, thank you again for your support and we’ll do our best to keep you informed about the discussions and decisions around the hospital rebuild.