The $70 million Hawke’s Bay-owned and operated elective surgery facility currently under construction in Hastings has been named as Kaweka Health.

The first stage of the project includes four operating theatres providing around 5,000 operations a year, full pre-op and recovery areas (including overnight beds), sterilising services, and 150 car parks. The facility in Canning Road, opposite Hawke’s Bay Hospital is planned to open in early 2022.

Westside Healthcare’s managing director Dr Colin Hutchison said they wanted a name that “resonated with the community”.

“The Kaweka ranges are a prominent geographical feature of Hawke’s Bay that envelops and protects the region and its people, and that’s our vision for the facility.”

Dr Hutchison says details of a second stage, which is still under concept-development, will be announced in early 2021.

“This is one of the most exciting health and infrastructure developments which will help get our region moving again in this challenging new economic environment. Healthcare in Hawke’s Bay is facing unprecedented challenges, post Covid-19, with even more pressure on the growing waiting lists for elective surgery.

“We are excited to support the health of Hawke’s Bay with our theatre facilities which will provide extra capacity.”

A strong contingent of local businesses currently on site include Gemco Construction, Patton Engineering, Lattey Precast, and RSM Reinforcing.

Project manager Nick Ward said construction is progressing well with Gemco Construction having completed all demolition works, earthworks,  and in-ground services; with foundations and super-structure now well underway and due to be completed by March 2021.

Dr Hutchison said a global recruitment drive is well underway.

“New Zealand has become a very attractive country for highly qualified specialists to relocate to and a new world-class elective surgery facility will ensure Hawke’s Bay is able to attract and retain more specialist doctors, who can work across both the private and public sector.”

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