New Q'town hospital launch marked by secrecy and miscommunication

by Peter Newport - Oct 09, 2019

A new private hospital for Queenstown has been marked by secrecy, delays, miscommunication and a Chief Executive who is overseas on holiday today, when an announcement was finally made. The only spokesperson we could reach at the Central Lakes Trust told Crux "No Comment" and the person who wrote this media release was "out of the building." Southern Cross Hospitals have consistently refused to talk to the media. Crux has approached Mayor Jim Boult and SDHB CEO Chris Fleming for comment.

Here's the statement anyway.

"Central Lakes Trust (CLT), have today confirmed that their joint venture with Southern Cross Hospitals will invest in a much-awaited new surgical hospital located in Queenstown known as Southern Cross Central Lakes Hospital.

The site of the hospital has been confirmed as land adjoining Queenstown Country Club, on Frankton – Ladies Mile Highway.

The hospital site will be developed by Sanderson Group who will lease the facility to the Joint Venture. Once the doors open, Southern Cross Hospitals will manage the facility with CLT as an investment partner.

The new hospital will complement the existing Queenstown Lakes Hospital.

Central Lakes Trust CEO Susan Finlay - overseas on holiday today while her name is supplied as the primary media contact! Her replacement said "No Comment."

A range of elective surgical procedures will be undertaken at the new hospital. These will include Endoscopy, General Surgery, Gynaecology, Dental, Orthopaedic, Urology, Plastic Surgery, and Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery (ENT). Currently, patients from Central Lakes Region must travel to either Dunedin or Invercargill for these procedures.

Central Lakes Trust, Chief Executive, Susan Finlay is delighted to be able to confirm the new hospital announcement.

“We know it feels like it has taken a while for us to make this announcement but we have a responsibility to carry out robust due diligence on all of our investment decisions. Our team has been working closely with Southern Cross Hospitals for the last 12 months to ensure that the solution we were being asked to invest in was going to be in the very best interests of everyone in our community as well as the best use of the funds we are guardians of.

It will not just be Southern Cross members who will benefit from the new hospital. Southern District Health Board has confirmed its intention to utilise the Hospital for publicly funded services. ACC funded patients will also have access to the facilities as will patients with any health insurance or willing to self fund their procedures.”

Work is due to commence on the new hospital in the middle of next year with completion expected late 2021.

It is anticipated that a number of new construction jobs may be created as a result of the Project with between 20 - 50 people working on the construction at any given time.

Terry Moore, CEO, Southern Cross Hospitals, said of the Joint Venture with Central Lakes Trust; “We know that Central Lakes residents have been crying out for surgical facilities for decades and we believe this will really make a difference, not just for patients in terms of travelling distances but also for visiting family and friends. This simply would not have been possible without support from the Central Lakes Trust.”

Chris Fleming, CEO, Southern District Health Board, says: “The Southern District Health Board is excited about the opportunity to add to our existing theatre services capacity for elective surgery, allowing us to provide more convenient services to our Queenstown and Central Lakes population. We appreciate the support of Central Lakes Trust in helping make this a reality.”


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