Canterbury DHB has begun consultation on its proposal to sell land on the Akaroa Hospital site to support the development of a new Integrated Family Health Centre (IFHC) in the town.
As is legally required, the DHB is proposing to sell just over an acre of land, part of the old 'Akaroa Hospital site'.
David Meates, Canterbury DHB's CEO, says the DHB is encouraging the community and interested parties to say what they think about the proposal over the next few weeks.
"We look forward to hearing your views on the proposal to sell the land as a significant step towards the development of the IFHC," Mr Meates says.
He says the intention is to sell the land to a limited liability partnership, created specifically to support the development of a community-owned IFHC on the Akaroa Hospital site.
The partners would be the Akaroa Community Trust, Canterbury DHB and Ngāi Tahu Property Limited.
"If the sale goes ahead, the sale and lease terms will specify that the land must be used for the delivery of IFHC-based health and support services.
"Community ownership and governance would also support the continued use of the land for health purposes."
Mr Meates says it's an important step towards ensuring the community has the right care, in the right place, at the right time by the right person.
"IFHCs support a wide range of services, closer to people's homes. They also have the potential to provide some services traditionally delivered in hospitals," he says.
Meanwhile Canterbury DHB is also giving advance notice of plans to start demolition of the old Akaroa Hospital next month. It was damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes.
"Work is expected to start soon with input from Ōnuku Rūnanga to ensure Māori protocols are followed during demolition."
Mr Meates says the work has been on the cards for some time.
"The demolition is in no way second-guesses the outcome of the consultation and the timing is purely coincidental – demolition of the old hospital was always part of the plan," he says.
"I recognise many will be sad to see the demolition of a building that has served its community well over the years. I sincerely hope that once the site has been cleared, people will be better able to visualise a bright future for Akaroa health services."
Feedback on the the proposed sale of land is sought via an electronic submission form at the end of the consultation document that can be found at www.cdhb.health.nz/engagement
People can also obtain a hard copy from the Akaroa Library or Akaroa Health Centre until 5pm on 11 September when the consultation period ends.
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