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$800k investment will cut travel for cancer patients

The announcement of a new chemotherapy and infusion unit for Whanganui Hospital will mean no more trips to Palmerston North for some cancer patients.


Health minister David Clark included $800,000 funding for the unit last week when he revealed $300 million of capital investment in New Zealand’s district health boards.


Just how many Whanganui cancer patients will benefit is yet to be decided as the new unit is still in the concept stage.


“The infusion therapy unit will deliver chemotherapy and other infusion services at Whanganui Hospital, and this has been an aspiration for the district health board for some years,” said a DHB spokesman.


“Currently, patients have to go to Palmerston North Hospital and the development of a local unit will eventually mean an end to such travel for a number of patients.”


WDHB chief executive Russell Simpson said he was delighted to get the project approved _ along with $2 million funding for an expansion of the Waimarino Health Centre in Raetihi.


“Both projects will provide great benefit to the community and are in keeping with the DHB’s vision of ‘Thriving Communities -- He Hāpori Ora’,” he said.


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$2m investment for Waimarino wellness centre


Health minister David Clark’s announcement last week of $2 million for the expansion of the Waimarino Health Centre in Raetihi marks a big step forward for a community concept started in 2018.



Erena Mikaere, Ruapehu Whānau Transformation project manager

“A community wellness centre, where all social and health services could be co-located for easy access and more effective services was a dream identified through engaging with families across southern Ruapehu,” said Ruapehu Whānau Transformation project manager Erena Mikaere this week.


The proposal was submitted to the minister by the Whanganui District Health Board and its chief executive, Russell Simpson, said the project to extend the Waimarino centre, both physically and in the services it offered, was a testament to the efforts of the local community.


Board member Judith McDonald 2019

Judith MacDonald, Whanganui Regional Health Network chief executive

“This shows the value of co-designing with the community in creating solutions for the future wellbeing of people. It is also an important step in improving rural health services.”


He congratulated “all those who have worked tirelessley with the Ruapehu Whanau Transformation programme”.


Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron said it was a great example of the DHB working closely with a community – “This is an investment in the local community that will significantly enhance the delivery of health services.”


Read more - Media release - $2 million investment brings community dream a step closer