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Largest hospital in NZ to open in three months

Eve Abernethy
Gerrit Gray Doppenberg
Emma Roberts
New Christchurch hospital building  Emma Roberts

The ministry of health has handed Christchurch's new hospital to the CDHB after a two year delay

The new 60,000sqm facility has eight floors of new wards, a new emergency services and intensive care unit, 12 new surgery theatres, a helipad on top of the building and the largest radiology department in the southern hemisphere. 

The hospital boasts original design with input from New Zealand healthcare professionals.

Emergency physician and clinical lead for the hospital, Rob Ojala, said it was an extremely complex building. 

Each ICU room has been kitted out with a hoist in accordance with the Christchurch District Health Board's "no lifting" policy. 

Theatre room v2
One of the new ICU rooms at Christchurch Hospital. Emma Roberts

Patients will be moved into the new facility from November 16 

"We know that facilities elsewhere have stumbled at times, so we want to make sure that we have it perfect on day one," Ojala said.

The hospital building was meant to open in March 2018 but was delayed.

The on-site helipad will halve transport times for emergency paitents, rather than the average 26 minutes it currently takes from the Hagley Park pad

About 3000 staff will need to undergo a six-week orientation, before patient occupation in November as well as cleaning and stocking spaces.  

CDHB Nursing Director Lynne Johnson said the new building met Australasian health facility standards.

"It provides natural light, a good view and hopefully help with their recovery," she said.  

The reception at the new Christchurch Hospital building. Emma Roberts

The new facility has 401 beds, but after the transfer from the riverside facility, the new hospital will only boost total capacity by 35 beds. 

The original budget for the building was $445 million. It has cost an estimated $525 million.