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A new Regional Hospital for Wellington is under construction. To make way for the new building, demolition of two of the most well-known buildings associated with Wellington Hospital occurred during 2004 . These were the 210-block, followed by the historic Front Block (erected in 1927). Work on construction of the new Regional Hospital is now well advanced.
The new Blood and Cancer Centre was completed in 2005, and the remainder of the new hospital is due for completion by the end of 2008. Work has begun on construction of the first part of the Regional Hospital, namely the new Cancer Centre. It is timely, therefore, to reflect on buildings past and present, and to understand some of the decisions leading to the many hospital developments to date.
The reasons for hospital redevelopment have changed over time. Initially, there was a rapidly increasing population to serve, and hospital overcrowding features prominently during much of the 20th century. For the past century too, there have been continuing changes in the spectrum of diseases treated in public hospitals, together with increasingly rapid advances in medical care. Thus, more and more new hospital-based services developed, and with that development came the need for more facilities to house them.
The Wellington Hospital that exists today, however, is the end-result of a series of compromises. In the following pages, you will see something of what was hoped for as well as what was eventually built.
There is much to tell and show, so read on. The presentation is arranged chronologically.
For the future, the focus of the District Health Board is to reduce the need for hospitalisation, by undertaking a number of community-based initiatives, and to seek shorter lengths of stay for those who require admission. The new Regional Hospital is being designed with these aims in mind.
Researched and compiled by Ron Easthope :
Last updated 1 July, 2005, Redesigned November 2007