Northlanders will no longer automatically have to go to Auckland for lifesaving heart procedures like angiograms, angioplasty and the insertion of pacemakers, thanks to new operating theatres and a cardiac catheter laboratory opened at Whangārei Hospital by Health Minister Andrew Little today.
The two projects – along with a new endoscopy suite opened last year – will be transformational for Northlanders, the Minister said.
“As I said in my speech to announce the health reforms two weeks ago, it is simply unacceptable that the place you live should determine what sort of healthcare you get,” he said at the opening in Whangarei today.
“These facilities mean that many of you will no longer have to go to Auckland but can be treated right here, close to home and close to whānau.”
The new facilities are just one part of the Government’s investment to improve the health and wellbeing of Northland residents.
Other projects include the Bay of Islands Hospital redevelopment, Kaitaia Hospital remediation, a Linear Accelerator bunker and equipment at Whangārei Hospital to provide radiation treatment for people with cancer, and buses to provide mobile surgical and lithotripsy services.
“These new facilities aim to cut patient waiting times, reduce the need for Northland residents to travel to Auckland for treatment, free-up capacity and ensure people can get the care they need, when they need it.”
The cardiac catheter laboratory is expected to treat around 1000 patients a year, and the two new operating theatres bring the total number at Whangārei Hospital to eight.
Both are due to be operational by July 2021.
The facilities are part of the $5 billion the Government has invested in health infrastructure since becoming the government in 2017.