• Kaweka Hospital prepares to welcome local patients

Kaweka Hospital prepares to welcome local patients

Hawke’s Bay residents now have greater access to surgical healthcare with the opening of an independent community-led Hospital in Hastings, the first in over 100 years to be built.

Kaweka Hospital’s Managing Director, Colin Hutchison, says the hospital, which includes four operating theatres and 10 inpatient beds, each with its own ensuite, is a joint venture investment by hospital specialists and management along with local families dedicated to increase accessibility to health care in our region.

Dignitaries including Minister of Health Hon. Andrew Little, Minister of Emergency Management Hon. Keiran McAnulty, Tukituki MP Anna Lorck, Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise along with local health providers and the hospital’s investors, board and management attended a special event today.

Opening on Canning Road, Hastings (opposite the Hawke’s Bay Hospital) at the end of August the hospital starts with a team of 40 surgical and non-surgical specialists offering ENT (ear, nose and throat), general surgery, gynaecology, urology, ophthalmology and gastroenterology supported by a 75 strong team of technicians, nurses, and wider support staff.

Dr Hutchison says Kaweka Hospital will add over 5000 surgical procedures a year into the healthcare sector in Hawke’s Bay, giving greater choice in private surgery as well as much-needed support to the public surgery register.

“Kaweka Hospital will ensure more Hawke’s Bay residents can get access to surgical procedures faster, which ultimately improves the health and well-being of the region.

“Together, this dedicated and highly experienced team are focused on delivering exceptional surgical care, using the latest technology in a modern purpose-built private hospital." 

Stage 1 is a $40 million investment while Stage 2, which is also under construction will open late 2024, signalling in total a $100m investment.

The hospital has a contract for service to provide surgical provision for the region’s public hospital.

“The private health sector is here to support the public sector. Although the public sector provides the bulk of healthcare, as a partner to Te Whatu Ora (Health New Zealand) we can also provide some public capacity.

Tukituki MP and former Hawke's Bay District Health Board member Anna Lorck said having 1200 more public operations performed at Kaweka Hospital will reduce public waiting lists and free up more capacity and access to health care in our Hawke’s Bay hospital.

“This is a win-win for the people and health of Hawke’s Bay, even better Kaweka Hospital is just across the road from our local public hospital.”

Kaweka Hospital’s Managing Director, Colin Hutchison (left) with Minister of Health Hon. Andrew Little. Photo/Supplied

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst acknowledges the vision, passion and investment by Kaweka Hospital directors, management and newly recruited team.

“It has been exciting to watch with anticipation the development of this much-needed additional Hawke’s Bay community hospital, which will be vital to the health and well-being of our people, delivering critical services to our people today and for generations into the future,” she said.

Kaweka Hospital board chairman and ENT specialist Mr Stephen Toynton says the idea of a new private hospital for Hawke’s Bay was due to the desire of a group of senior local doctors to increase access to healthcare facilities.

“Most private hospitals are part of larger organisations and consequently they are not owned by people within their communities, this means there is a lack of local decision making, direction and connectivity.

“As a group of local doctors, we thought “outside of the box” to solve the problem, designing a new model and standard in surgical care and have been joined in partnership with some incredible Hawke’s Bay families that supported the project.

“Our surgeons and anaesthetists wanted to guide this project for the future of Hawke’s Bay and that is easier by keeping the hospital in local ownership and governance." 

One of four new operating theatres at Kaweka Hospital. Photo/Supplied.

He adds that the hospital features the latest healthcare technology, modern layout and design by New Zealand’s leading Health Planner Ruth Whitehead and local architects – Architecture HDT.

“We’ve created a health campus in a natural landscape setting with the building being very open and divided into quadrants,” says Shaun Thompson-Gray of Architecture HDT.

“Colin had a strong vision to establish a world-class medical facility that will benefit the entire region and its people.

The Stage 2 facility will add a new radiology suite with MRI, CT and Breast imaging, a new cardiac catheterization laboratory in a 6000 m2 complex.