“The running down of New Zealand’s health infrastructure has been decades in the making. The next Government will need to bring Real Change to how we build hospitals to ensure New Zealand is equipped to serve a growing population,” says ACT Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.
“The state of New Zealand’s health and education services are slipping away from first world status, but with some political courage they can be turned around. Yesterday ACT highlighted our solutions for the truancy crisis, today we’re showing how we can ensure New Zealand has the modern health infrastructure it deserves.
“The current system of relying on tax and Government debt for financing isn’t fit for purpose. This method of funding and financing means projects don’t get built if the Government can’t afford them, even though they might be needed and profitable.
“Just look at the Dunedin Hospital rebuild. Announced in 2017, there has been multiple changes to the rebuild plans by the Government to make it more affordable, while during election campaigns parties campaign on making changes to the plan. Locals who want a modern hospital don’t know what or when they’ll eventually see something.
“The current build cost for a new 900-plus bed hospital is about $500 million. Most of the forty public hospitals in the country were built pre-1960 and are not fit-for-purpose in today’s healthcare environment.
“It will cost tens of billions to repair and upgrade our current hospital assets. Maintaining over $20 billion worth of buildings and infrastructure should not be the role of the Ministry of Health or Te Whatu Ora, which needs to be focussed on medical enhancements and best practice patient care.
“ACT would establish Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) with large, global infrastructure developers and investors for new build and long-term facility lease arrangements. PPPs would be used for the refurbishment and upgrades to existing facilities, and would be converted to long-term lease backs.
“By allowing lease-back and build arrangements with large, reputable global infrastructure investment groups for the refurbishment of existing public healthcare infrastructure and the construction of new facilities, long-term leases would have the private lessor responsible for all build, maintenance and through-life utility costs.
“ACT is ambitious for New Zealand, we aspire towards a modern, thriving economy with world class infrastructure. With private sector financing and expertise to bring projects forward, we can achieve that.”