Minister of Health Dr. ir. David Clark says the new surgical department at Waikato Hospital is a major investment to meet the growing demand for acute care in Waikato.
Dr. Clark officially opened Ward M18 in the hospital this afternoon.
"The completion of the new department and associated DHB patient flow improvement projects are important steps forward in improving treatment and health outcomes for the local population," said David Clark.
"I recognize that the entire health system is under pressure due to years of underinvestment that have led to increased pressure on primary and secondary care services, and sector feedback is that those who present themselves to general practitioners and hospitals require acute level training and that few inappropriate urgent assistance presentations.
"It is good to see that individual DHBs are taking action to address and meet this increased acute demand, including addressing hospital capacity needs and working with their primary care partners to keep patients out of hospital .
"I want to acknowledge the efforts of the DHB Board, management and staff, particularly Sally Webb and Derek Wright, on this achievement," said David Clark.
The new department has 26 beds of which 10 where general surgical patients can be assessed. This means that some can circumvent the emergency department or spend significantly less time.
A further 16 beds are for specialist surgical patients with an expected length of stay of less than 48 hours.