With almost $2.1 million capital investment from Waikato DHB (which will be received from tenants as lease costs), two unused wards have been transformed into modern facilities that house a medical centre and a family GP practice, a pharmacy, and a wide range of other primary health services.
The project started with design work and tendering in April 2013, and tenants had all moved in and open for services by 20 January 2014.
Leadership and wider community support was vital in the project. As well as Waikato DHB, those involved over many years include:
The co-location project is a first step towards better integration of health services in Tokoroa.
Tokoroa Hospital was opened in 1969. It sits on a large campus which includes a range of other buildings, several of which are tenanted by community groups.
Two ward areas were added to the main hospital block in anticipation of a higher volume of inpatients but were never used to their full extent, as the focus of health has increasingly moved from long stays in hospital to prevention, early detection and where possible care management in the community.
For this reason, Wards 3 and 4 were under-used and eventually “moth-balled” to conserve resources.
In parallel, there was growing efforts from Tokoroa community to look to the future of its health needs and how those could be met.
The refurbished facilities now are home to: